Life and Awareness

IIn the winter, when I was very young, I would curl up, as small as I could, next to the bathtub as it filled with water. There wasn’t yet central heat in our home, and the little bathroom was a room without that luxury. The house was heated by coal delivered down a chute and […]

Tree People

This idea started with a simple concept: “Love songs aren’t just for others. Love songs are for you too.” But, as I thought about the number of people who don’t truly experience love or struggle with trusting love, I realized that, for many, it’s often really tough just to get to the place of self-love. Sadly, some […]

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 […]

Hope

We need hope—a reservoir of spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental strength. Without it, we wrestle more with the challenges of this world. Hope acknowledges dreams and desires for something “better.” Hope leads to expectations that become birthed into reality. Hope champions optimism, fans flames of faith and silences gongs of hatred. Hope is Rosa Parks […]

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 […]

Perspective

Often, true happiness is borne out of understanding what unhappy is. When young, you, likely, didn’t have a myriad of choices, but, as you “came of age,” you may have been able to turn the lens, culling joy from relationships, choosing where to share your heart, knowing when to run from pain, creating (at least to some […]

Wisdom Words

There have been decades when I moved through life at warp speed, by necessity. Now, cognizant of the fleeting nature of time, “where am I rushing to?” is a question I often ask myself. Although COVID-19 has changed realities significantly for many of us, dashing through life still seems like an embedded part of our […]

Greener Grass and Rosier Glasses

When “the grass seems greener on the other side,” you look over the “fence”—literally or proverbially—and see your neighbor’s “lawn” as healthier than yours. But, just like us worn-down mortals with eroded and less-than-perfect parts of us, you’re often not close enough to recognize the crabgrass, brown patches, or bare places. As humans, we often have a bias […]

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 […]

The Fabric of You

A while ago, I made pillow covers from delicate fabric with silk fibers of amazing colors. These different threads, woven together, make gorgeous patterns of free form flowers and leaves. The non-selvage edge of this fabric unravels easily and really looking at each strand, I was surprised by how much movement and beauty they had, […]

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.

Bridges & Life, Crossing Troubled Water

Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”➀ was one of the most performed songs of the twentieth century. I’ve always loved the simplicity and significance of these words: “When you’re weary, feeling small,when tears are in your eyes,I will dry them all.I’m on your sideoh, when times get rough,and friends just can’t be found,like a bridge […]

Bridges & Life

There are times in life when you’re “on the same page” as another person, seeming to grow together in tandem. Maybe, your relationship blossomed from acquaintance to dear friend, or from friendship to significant partner. Perhaps, you met someone and instantly knew you were kindred spirits. (How wonderful is that type of synchronicity?) For many, however, the path […]

The Positive and “Aha” Moments

These past few months have been, unarguably, incredibly challenging times. Last week, I wrote about racism and its painful impact on our world. This is a critical conversation that needs to be ongoing. During the past few weeks, I also asked friends and readers:Has there been anything “positive” that you’ve experienced as a result of […]

Gratitude, Even in the Chaos

Gratitude is an “Amen, Thank You!” to our world. When we only see what we don’t have, we close the door to the joy that comes from acknowledging what we do have. Many people wish they could walk in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes, that’s jealousy-based, but more often, it’s the result of wanting lives more like what they presume (the […]

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 […]

What Languages Do You Speak?

I love this story from my grandson’s first year of grade school: Ethan had an excellent teacher, and at the beginning of the school year, she asked if any of the children spoke a second language. A few children raised their hands. When she got to Ethan, he said, “I speak Duck➀.” She heard that […]

The Journey

I am a journeyer, traveling through this life, looking and seeking, searching and learning. I pick up things as I journey— a book, a photograph, a postcard and put them in my backpack. Sometimes, I take those things out and look at them, mostly at night, mostly when I’m alone. I smile, I laugh. I […]

I love you, but….

When my grandson Ethan was young, a friend gave him the book, “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?”. It’s about dinosaurs (children) who do all sorts of kid-like things that make parents frazzled, but then turn around and do something sweet that touches their hearts. The last sentence in the book is “…that’s when […]

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 […]