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 […]

Living With Intention

Sometimes we humans fly through our days, pretending we have it all together when, in reality, we’re merely going through the motions. Many of us have perfected the “my life is amazing” dance but never figured out who we truly are, maintaining the status quo—no matter how poorly it reflects what our hearts truly desire. Sadly, many […]

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 […]

Christmas Lights and Silent Nights

Yesterday, I went to an appointment, then did some online shopping, caught up in the secular Christmas that it seems most people “celebrate.” I, possibly like others, sometimes forget what really matters. silent night, holy night It’s a cold December—but not yet officially winter—morning. I take off my glasses and write with a pen propelled […]

Thankful—Full of Thanks

THANKFULconscious of benefits received, relieved that something has (or hasn’t) happened, contented, appreciative, grateful благодарно, reconnaissant, אסיר תודה, grato, 감사한, riconoscente, agradecido, 感謝している, dankbaar, ευγνώμων, 感激 “Thankful” is expressed and felt differently. Many of us have the privilege of being grateful for people who love us, health, a career (or retirement), a roof over our heads. In […]

Unbalanced and Running on Empty

Balance is a state of equilibrium: stability, calmness, harmony, serenity. But, for many, that equilibrium is missing. My life has been unbalanced. I’ve often not spent as much time honoring and caring for the core of me as I’ve spent dealing with body and mind matters. (Have you experienced that?) Professional jugglers know the importance of balance in […]

Truth & Dare

“Truth or Dare” is something I’ve never played, having heard too many stories of young (and not-so-young) people divulging personal information or performing dangerous, humiliating, or out of their comfort zone “dares.” (What we sometimes do to others, or allow them to make us do, is heartbreaking.) Unlike the game “truth or dare,” I’m talking about truth and dare. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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—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 […]