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 […]

Finding Light in the Dark

The world looks very different right now. Much that we’ve taken for granted has disappeared, pushing us to rethink our lives and priorities. Many of us have had to recreate day-to-day life. For some, that brings physical solitude that’s punctuated by virtual visits and phone conversations. For others, it means complete isolation or, on the […]

Poetry for Thought

CHOICES peace, peace, precious peace pain, pain, poignant pain   hope, hope, honored hope hate, hate, horrid hate   love, love, lasting love loss, loss, lonely loss   faith, faith, fervent faith fear, fear, fractious fear   peace, hope, love, faith pain, hate, loss, fear  all of these are part of life which of these […]

Food, Kitchens, Souls

Creating a space that you can’t wait to get home to­—one that’s peace-full—is a big part of living intentionally. It’s a way to honor your life FOOD You’ve probably heard the expression, “the kitchen is the heart of the home.” That’s because it’s natural for us to gather around food. There’s a common bond when we […]

Empty or Full

“Different Views” their upbringings and lives to this point were very similar; they both knew good and bad, happiness and sorrow but, they chose to walk through life very differently. his house and life were full; overfull really, but he was like an empty vessel; his heart devoid of love, not believing in the possibility of meaningful human […]

Whole

The waves crash onto the shore as I walk on the deserted beach not long after the sun has decided to grace us, once again, with her morning majesty. Litter—empty plastic cups, a beat-up cooler, two broken chairs, a few beer bottles—carelessly left behind by fellow humans, stands out hideously in the otherwise perfection of […]

The Shut Up and Deal Dance

Almost every day, I talk with someone about life. Yeah, I know, that’s a really enormous topic but those conversations aren’t usually about tackling “the big picture”; just little clips of it. I realize that what I write about is often insignificant in the grand scheme of our planet (and I never want to lose sight of the […]

Relativity

A teenager doesn’t make the football team. He starts swearing about how wrong and stupid the coaches are. A teenager doesn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch. He remembers how his father always told him he was “unlovable”. A couple sits with a large group, in a restaurant, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. They […]