Expansiveness

Tears—big, fat tears, the kind that makes some men uncomfortable, and many women sigh—rolled down his cheeks. He laid on a hospital bed, his life nearing the end, spending precious moments with the daughter who sat next to him—this daughter who wasn’t his and was always his. He was only in his sixties. He talked about his beloved wife. […]

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 […]

Introspective Tuesday

I’m acutely aware of how years seem to slip through my fingers like grains of sand. Do you ever feel that way? The fragility of life, and how I spend my precious hours, is never far from my awareness.   Today, in a contemplative frame of mind, I’d like to share a piece of poetry. __________ The Library ceiling […]

Tuesday Morning (5:20 am)

It’s 5:20 on a Tuesday morning. I tossed and turned for a while before recognizing that I wasn’t going to quiet my brain—that’s decided to run a marathon—so I got up. The air outside is still, almost too still. I sit at my desk with my tea and type away as if the world’s on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Home Week, Thursday: Spaces

Welcome to home week!  We all experience peace differently. For some of us, “peaceful” is quiet and serene, while, for others, it’s loud and fun. We’ll also react positively to different colors, items and experiences because (of course) we’re different. Some specifics relate to almost everyone, but creating your peaceful home is as unique as […]

Home Week, Wednesday: Home Peaceful Home

Home should be your safe place, your respite from the world where you can slow down, breathe and simply BE. Of course, different factors influence your ability to experience peace—who you live with, your physical location, the folks in your neighborhood, the house itself. So, Today, let’s talk about your physical environment and a dozen changes […]

Morning Mourning

Last week, I woke up one morning with an appreciation of abundance because of a dream I had. However, today I awoke aware of a feeling of mourning.    Like many (or most) of you, I’ve experienced significant heartbreak, having lost the earthly presence of my parents, brother, and a few dear friends. Those heartbreaking times often […]

Perennials and Weeds

Weeding is an ongoing task during spring, beginning with the area next to our neighbor’s home. Then, the front beds, vegetable garden, and underneath the blossoming pear tree where the shrubs I planted almost two decades ago (thinking, “they’re so pretty and just the right color”) have become much too large. Sometimes, I don’t research the “will […]

Feeding the Wolf of Love

There’s a Native American legend about two wolves. As the story goes, we have two wolves inside our hearts: a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. The wolf of hate is filled with anger, sorrow, ego, fear, pride, envy, arrogance, greed, and superiority. The heart of the wolf of love overflows with hope, humility, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Privileged to Cast My Vote

This morning I voted. I stood in line for just about two hours, winding up and down outdoor lines marked six feet apart. I wore my mask, of course, and boots and gloves and a hat under my hood, but the cold wind still seeped into my veins. But that didn’t matter. The crisp air […]

Lost & Found

Some things that might be found in a “Lost and Found” box:a single glove,an umbrella, a book.Much of what’s “found” and deposited in the box is forgotten, never reclaimed by its original owner. You look in the box for what you’ve “Lost.” You put into the box something you’ve “Found”—something that’s not yours.  “Lost” doesn’t only apply […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.