Inside Voice, Outside Voice

Recently, I came across one of my granddaughter’s old books, titled “Inside Out.” It reminded me that we employ different inside and outside voices (and faces) depending on where we are or who we’re with. Often, we’re completely immersed in our material realities, not observing ourselves from the inside out. Sometimes we don’t even acknowledge the parts […]

The Happy Book

There is joy, and there is woe (bliss and suffering can dance on the same stage), and we humans react to those opposites in many different ways. Of course, happiness is subjective, but when we choose it, we are actively creating inner peace, moving forward into authenticity and self-worth awareness. (Even a magic wand won’t automatically make […]

Valentines & Aortas

It’s widely held that Valentine’s Day honors a priest named Saint Valentine of Terni, who lived in third-century Rome. In one of the research articles I read, Valentine was killed for performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry while in service. Another story relates that the imprisoned Saint Valentine sent a letter to a young […]

Commune

As a verb, the word “commune” (/kəˈmjun/) means: contemplating, reflecting on, or experiencing with others, sometimes without using words. As a noun, the term “commune” (/ˈkämyo͞on/) is a collective—a group that bonds together, creating—figuratively or literally—a “village,” supported by a common ground. You’re aware, of course—unless you’ve been in a sequestered holding pattern your entire life— […]

A Different Perspective

Pain is real. I don’t know even one adult who has not experienced some heartache during this lifetime. Yet, hope continues to loom—even in the dark, even when we don’t acknowledge it—perhaps especially when we don’t acknowledge it. It’s sometimes easier to assign negativity and sorrow to our lives than it is to embrace each diamond […]

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 […]

Thinking, Being Human & Keeping The Glass Half-Full

I often wonder what I’m “supposed” to be doing in this life.  I think a lot, not necessarily a good thing, mind you. Overthinking makes it hard to be successful at meditating and sleeping, and the downside of over-analyzation. In the journey of attempting to “slow my brain down,” I’ve realized that we can over-think things so much that […]

What Matters Most

When my granddaughter, Lauren, was ten, she read a story to me about a family with three young children that survived the devastating Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011. I’m sure that life has never been quite the same for them. The recognition of “what they could have lost” probably still dances through their minds every […]

White Cloth Napkins

Like many of you, I try to make everything “perfect” when entertaining guests. I want them to know that their presence is important; that I care enough to “pull out all the stops.” And, when hosting an event, I want it to be as seamless as possible so everyone can relax, laugh, talk, and know […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Paying Attention

I’m aware, so often, of the fragility of each moment (this one is slipping away as I finish this sentence). Most of us assume so much: that we’ll still be breathing at the end of this day, that our loved ones will continue to be part of our lives, that we’ll have food to eat […]

Thank You God Thursday

Each day as I get out of bed I say, “Thank You God”.  In my more aware moments, I tack on some of the other easy “thank yous”: a new day, my health, my family, etcetera. Those aren’t insincere—it’s just that they’re so darned easy to name. Sitting in my quiet (in spite of the rambunctious […]

An Identity Crisis and The Wizard of Oz

Erik Erikson coined the term “identity crisis”, saying that the environment in which a child is brought up is critical in the formation of personal identity and self-awareness. Makes sense, right? Obviously, the way we were raised significantly impacted who we are now. Imagine how different you might be if all the “moving parts” of […]

Silence Is Golden

Sometimes, God speaks to us in the bright light of day. Sometimes, God whispers in the still night—when we’re alone or scared or unable to take one more step forward. Sometimes, it’s really tough to hear God’s voice above the clanging gongs. And, sometimes, we have to invite God into our silence. Silence Is Golden […]

The Loneliness Epidemic

Feeling Alone Last week my daughter Erin—a clinical trials & research nurse—sent me a very dismal report about loneliness. Then, I stumbled upon a piece on the same subject while researching something else. And, in the past few weeks, I’ve talked to at least four people about loneliness. When there’s a recurring theme, it’s a […]

Life Prioritization

Priority definition: that one thing which takes precedence over all else; what we give foremost, and special, attention to. We’ve lost the idea of having a priority in life. Even the plural— priorities—refers to two to four things, not the dozen (or hundred) we have on our “this is what I must do” lists. If you […]

Extraordinary

Extraordinary is simply ordinary with “extra” in front of it. Those five little letters change everything! On Friday evening my granddaughter, Lauren, started celebrating her eleventh birthday with eight of her best friends at a sleepover. My daughter, Sara, did a lot of planning, and it was a wonderful event with cake decorating contests, games, jumping on the trampoline, […]

Either/Or, And/But

It’s 6:23 in the morning as the light comes in from the East. The pines, river birches and oaks reach out to a blue sky, dappled with diaphanous clouds.  A rabbit hops through the grass as a chipmunk scurries across the deck. The tomatoes are turning red in the garden. A butterfly dances past my head. A gentle […]

Flying Above The Clouds

Our dear friends Betsy and Sam recently moved to a beautiful area in Georgia. Larry and I just got back from visiting them for a few days. On the way to the airport, to fly home on Saturday evening, we hit a major traffic jam. By the time we got to the Atlanta airport we […]