Happiness

Yesterday morning, birds patiently took turns at the feeder. Signs of Spring sprouted up through the snow-covered ground, reaching for the sun. I experienced feeling “happy” as I watched them. Unlike dessert or a perfectly aged cabernet, happiness is life-giving water needed for optimal survival. But, for many, bliss seems unattainable. Perhaps you think, “How dare I […]

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— […]

Taking for Granted

I: Who, What, When Where, Why Like, I’m sure at least some of you, there are times I forget to see the life-signposts with flashing lights screaming: “Who are you hurting (hopefully unwittingly) with a lack of awareness?” “What, small but valuable something, are you missing running through life? “When do you choose to look away rather […]

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 […]

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last night, I went to bed hungry. It was by choice, not by necessity. There were moments while lying in the darkened room that I thought about getting up, going into the kitchen, opening a pantry or refrigerator door, and choosing something to eat. But I didn’t. Instead, I thought about the 800 million people on our […]

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 […]

Life Lessons

• Walk outside whenever you’re able—without music pounding in your ear or eyes glued to the blacktop—listen to the birds and the swaying trees; notice, fully, what’s right around you. • Life is a series of takes and miss-takes. It’s baby-stepping, learning as we go, and taking giant leaps of faith that, sometimes, seem so monumental that […]

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 […]

Singing, Pain, Tolerance, Dust

Singing   As the sun rose, I sat facing the garden. The trunk of the majestic locust tree was on the right, the branches of the stately pines, heavy with newly fallen snow were on the left. Nature was singing. I felt small—not only physically. I felt my incorporeal smallness. I thought about an evening when […]

Cup of Life

What if you fill your cup of life? Not overfill it with boring or uninspiring activities or meaningless possessions. (Do you ever fill your life with tangible stuff to drown out the lack of real stuff?) Not overload it with placeholders that scream “my cup’s full!”. But, rather, fill it to the brim with the wholeness of […]

Reentry

I woke up with the word “reentry” on my mind. What did it mean? What was I supposed to do with it? A few months ago, I had the rich honor of sitting with Mary—along with her daughter; my dear friend Monica—a few days before her death. Mary was ninety-six years old and ready to go back […]

Good Enough

Recently,  I had a conversation with someone who feels that—in spite of all the love, attention and kindness she showers upon a significant person in her life—she simply isn’t enough. Sadly, she’s isn’t the first person I’ve heard this from. It’s hard for most of us to wrap our arms around the idea that for […]

Guilty As Charged

Many people—who have never spent a day behind bars—live in self-imposed prisons where they intend to serve out life sentences. Sometimes that’s because they’ve committed a heinous crime and, although not “found out”, they know what they’ve done and choose lifetime penitence. Some have been imprisoned by the words of others, when they’ve been told that […]