The Twelve

Twelve —often considered the “perfect” number.  In the Judeo-Christian tradition, twelve is symbolic of God’s authority and perfection. Biblically, there are 187 references, including Jacob’s twelve sons and the ancestors of Israel’s twelve tribes.  In ancient Greece, twelve gods of Olympus were worshiped. In Buddhism, there are twelve stages of existence (Nidanas).  Twelve lines create […]

Exhausted

A thirty-something woman confided that she’s perpetually exhausted—stressful career, young children, constant hamster wheel. It’s tough to manage “Super Mom,” “Stellar Business Person,” and “Amazing Homemaker” at the same time! Of course, she’s tired. Something’s gotta give. I often forget to practice conscious breathing instead, endeavoring to physically and mentally “do everything.” I actually catch myself holding my breath sometimes! Talk about going so […]

A Matter of Life or Death

My brother, Bob, diagnosed with his first brain tumor at sixteen, died when he was forty. He beat insurmountable odds. In the last years of his life, he was wheelchair-bound, and his brain lived in the past. Incredibly, through all the surgeries and pain, he never once complained or uttered, “why me?” A life that blessed many […]

Abundance

Abundance:bounty, thriving, plentiful, overflowing Last night, I had two very unusual dreams unlike most of what I usually conjure up (dark or violent, which has never made sense since I don’t read or watch anything with violence). When I woke, the only word that came to mind was “abundance.” What is good, positive, uplifting in […]

Perfect Imperfection

I sat at my desk, in the still darkness of pre-dawn, remembering the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday, I was part of “She Nailed It,” Habitat For Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s “all women, nail-hammering, relay competition,” which raises funds for affordable housing.  In 2012, when my friend, Betsy, invited me to join the HFH volunteer […]

Technology & Instant Gratification

One evening, after leaving a client, I called my husband to let him know I was stopping at a grocery store. He didn’t answer. I called a second time; again, no answer. ❶ I’m notorious for not picking up my phone every time it rings. If I’m with another human—family member, friend, or client—I don’t […]

The Building Blocks of a Peaceful Home

Peaceful doesn’t just happen—not with relationships, careers, day-to-day life, and, definitely, not with homes. Some relationships seem so tumultuous that I wonder how those folks get through the day, and I know those who always seem to be “in the right place” with those they love.  I imagine most people would leave their jobs without hesitation if they could swing it financially, but there are the blessed few […]

Forging Ahead

Life’s current reality can be incredibly burdensome, making it challenging to get past that long enough to believe in fresh starts. Have you ever wished you could rewrite the script? There have been times when (with the luxury of days passed) I’ve thought, “I wish I would have done things differently.” Perhaps I would have […]

A Hope-Filled New Year

“Happy New Year!” These words—maybe this year more than ever—hold so much hope as we pray for freedom from the ravages of a virus, an opportunity to heal a hurting nation, and awareness of the value of each human. A fresh start and the ability to look forward is beautiful—it’s like stepping into a new, […]

Z to A

Amid the sorrow and challenges of COVID-19, significant changes have taken place in the lives of everyone I know. It was seven months ago that the World Health Organization declared a global emergency. And, since March, when a national emergency was declared in The USA, it often feels, for me, like time moves as slow […]

Heart & Breath

We’re familiar with the expression “thinking outside the box”— choosing to see things from a different perspective, perhaps more creatively or unconventionally, not boxed in. There’s value in “breathing outside the box,” too, taking the time to hear your breath, slowing down, consciously inhaling and exhaling, honoring and acknowledging what’s often taken for granted.  Breathing sounds simple, but […]

Letting Go

Two weeks ago, a large, heavy ceramic pot broke into a dozen pieces. I decided to glue it back together. It was time-consuming, requiring a lot of patience—which I sometimes don’t have—as I clamped individual pieces together, waiting for them to dry before adding the next part of the puzzle. Eventually, (with almost an entire […]

Awareness, Pain, Movement, Grace

Death Awareness In earlier posts, I’ve written about Maraṇasati—recognizing that as we’re living, we’re dying. I always hold the fragility of life somewhere in my frame of consciousness, but, right now, it takes center stage even more often. Rampant Pain racism hopelessness stress judgment being unseen fear shame hate with big capital letters psychological abuse marginalization brutality […]

In Pursuit of Being Real

In Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit, a stuffed toy is given to a boy as a Christmas gift, but soon forgotten, set aside in favor of other “more expensive” toys. The older and wiser, Skin Horse, befriends the rabbit, teaching him about love and becoming real. “Real…. is a thing that happens to you. When a […]

Bridges & Life, Knowing What to take on the Journey

Bridges Series:Part 1: Bridges & Life 6/17/20Part 2: Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water 6/19/20Part 3: Bridges & LIfe, Crossing Bridges Instead of Building Walls 6/23/20Part 4: Bridges & LIfe, Knowing what to take on the Journey 6/23/20 A friend was getting her large home ready to sell after her husband’s sudden death. As we purged, sorted, and […]

Bridges & Life, Crossing Bridges Instead of Building Walls

We build a little wall first—just tall enough so that when we venture out (into the sometimes scary world), we can turn around, run fast, jump over it, get really “small” and hide behind it. It’s the “level 1 protection wall” built from something like sand or leaves (sad, lonely). If we have to jump over that wall often enough, we end up creating a sturdier divider. This “level 2 protection wall” is made of materials like brick or wood (bullied, wounded). It still allows us to venture out into the world, but now we have to climb over it to safety. When we’ve had to retreat behind wall number 2 long enough, we finally build the “level 3 protection wall”. This one is serious stuff, an impenetrable structure that no one is getting through! It’s made of steel or concrete (scarred, crushed) and reinforced with pain and abandonment.

Hatred, Violence, Pain, How Do We Move Forward?

Dear Readers, Yesterday, I reached out to a dozen fellow humans➀ with three questions. COVID-19 was the topic of two of them. I’ll post those answers tomorrow. The third question was one I never imagined asking: “With all the hatred, violence, anger, and pain our country is experiencing, how do we move forward and make a difference?”  […]

Walking Through the Dark (and COVID-19)

Many years ago, I experienced moving in and out of the dark. Someone I love was in crisis, and there were times I feared a tragic outcome. It was terrifying and tested my strengths and beliefs. I was walking in the dark. But, in that dark, there was still light. I was continually shown the […]

Closed Minds

Pre, COVID-19, I parked next to a car with this bumper sticker: “A Closed Mind is a wonderful thing to lose.” When I went back, two women were in the car, so I knocked on the driver’s window and shared how much I love that message, which led to a short conversation about life. Closed-mindedness, unreceptive to […]

Choices

Choices; this seven-letter word sets the course for your life. Choosing moves energy, creating change that sets what you want into motion. Choices empower you, so it’s critical to discern what you desire and require in your life. You choose every day by weighing the pros and cons, considering alternatives, and then taking action. A considerable amount of this goes on […]

Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part II

(continued from “Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part I”) When you’re overwhelmed, and life is exhausting, you need to “step aside” for a while by moving away from environments or relationships that impede you from living into your highest self. There are also things you may have to “set aside” like fear, anger, […]

Moving From Overwhelmed to Serene and Peaceful, Part I

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Does it sometimes seem that despite how hard you work, how often you “put yourself out there,” or how much you love, it just isn’t enough? Are you ever on the brink of hopelessness, imagining that if you […]

Life Right Now—Sadness and COVID-19

COVID-19 has infected us not only physically. During the past two days, we talked about spirituality, fear, and superheroes. Today, let’s tackle sadness. There are, obviously, a lot of things to be sad about right now. We can’t help experiencing unhappiness in challenging times. But, we can work to move through it. Sit quietly with […]

Life Right Now—Fear, Superheroes, and COVID-19

FEAR Discussions about COVID-19 have become part of our daily conversations. I’m not suggesting that we hide from the updates, but we need an awareness of how being bombarded by this news, on every media platform, is affecting us. Fear has become one of our songs, and there’s a good reason for that. Some of […]

Life Right Now—Spirituality and COVID-19

In the midst of COVID-19, it seems like many of us are in one of two camps. Camp 1 is overflowing with people who are overwhelmed, frustrated or exhausted. Camp 2 holds those who are at the other end of the spectrum and feel defeated, sad, bored, or lonely. How are you holding up? Which camp is […]