Tuesday, September 22, 2015

" You Are What You Love..Not What Loves You" - What About The Middle? (Video)

All kinds of things make me stop in my tracks every day. Nothing surprises me though. I'm never shocked at how low people can sink, or the petty need to spread negativity. I'm also  not shocked when I hear of someone trying to add some light and sunshine into the mix without judgment. 

I saw this video a couple days ago, and I sent it to my good friends that ruminate on such issues with me all the time. WHERE IS THE MIDDLE? Why are we all trying so hard to be....something else? Take a look. It's worth it. 

I am in awe of the universal laws that continue to teach constancy. I may change, so may my situations but these laws, when you pay attention, are the same:
  •          You give and you shall get back, not always in the forms you seek, but in the ways you need.
  •           Love is always the answer. Love and compassion and a propensity to accept what is will always lead you to the most simple and true answers to all things.
  •           Self-care is an extension of oneness. In loving and respecting and treating oneself with absolute acceptance, forgiveness and love will and can only lead to the same treatment of others. It is only the sad, unhappy and harshest to themselves,  that are the harshest to others.  When you love yourself wholly, you can not be mean, offer ill will or want for anything but the same peace to others.
  •           By whatever name you may call him/it/all that is gratitude and grace should be given to the energy and creator of all our blessings, daily, if not hourly. It is only from a place of gratitude that anything of beauty and peace can be found.
  •         What you focus on, will be the fundamental fruition you find in your life. Your word and thoughts are attractors and magnets that bring back the very vibration and essence of what you will receive. Choose wisely, and respect your innate right to manifest that which you place your focus on.
  •          Forgiveness is the deepest of emotions that we can offer to all. Forgive those who have hurt you, left you, angered you, betrayed you, and forgive yourself for those things that you hold shame for. In forgiving, as the greatest teachers preach, we can all find a place of calm and burdenlessness. There is no positive outcome from holding grudges, anger or vengeance. No one thing, no group of horrific acts can be let go by force and holding. Only can the horrific be transmuted into the holy or honorable in our OWN choice to forgive and find the fortitude to move forward light-hearted.  
  •        You already posses all that you need, right now. Just as the universe is infinitely capable of magic and mundane and miracles, you too, are full of an entirety of all things, it is only a matter of acceptance and letting go of limiting beliefs. Has the universe to prove to itself that it has more galaxies, or life forms, or magnetic pulls? Does the universe seek validation for its existence and all the components that have lead to it being what it is today, and why? Yeah...NO.
  •         There is so much gained from trying to gain nothing, but instead to give all you can to being. Being is far superior to getting, going, trying. It is free, and you have that gift now, and every minute. Embracing it is the only way. The rest will come as it should, and your trust in that is not a pursuit to something, but rather a presence in now.
  •       Remember that no truth is the only truth. Every heart and every truth is as it should be for each of us. There is no “rightness” and “wrongness” based on one or any sole reasoning or belief. The compass of the soul is so very clearly the heart, and where the heart approves there is only the direction of love, and that is what is right for you. 
I'm not claiming to know much. I think a lot and I've been trying to understand and let go at the same time. Ha! Not an easy task. So take what makes sense, or none at all. Throw it back out there if it doesn't fit you or your life style. If you find yourself judging me, even better. Ask yourself why?

To come back to the video and those wise words: "You are what you love; not what loves you."


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

September- Beginnings and Endings (Taking Stock)

September has always been a strange month for me - a bit numinous in that my birthday always coincides with my grandmother's death fifteen years earlier. Its also about beginnings (school/fall) and now it reminds me of endings as well. A year ago this month is when my marriage began to unravel. 

It was a long journey and the passage through was somewhat heart opening and breaking. Collateral damage, fantasy strangled, delusion debunked and people, real-heart-beating people got hurt. With the help of some amazing people being accepting and fair and the lessons from those who were not, I have found the way to here- Right now, where I sit in humble awe of all that had to happen to put me in the right direction.

I believe in a divine or inexplicable energy interwoven in all of us. I believe in the possibilities of angels or universal forces and a higher power that guides. It comes in a whisper from inside your ears, or a feeling when you hold your child. Those moments when you just "click" with someone or you feel embarrassed to say out loud that you just witnessed something so strange, but real.  

Sometimes it is in a stranger's smile or a song you are sure to have heard somewhere before. It can be in a picture that gives you goosebumps, or the voice of an old ancient text being read  not by your ears, but by and to your heart from the pages before you. However you interpret these things, I know them to be true, and invaluable and ever present. I will honor and live my life with pure gratitude and acknowledge of their existence. I do not seek them, but I will celebrate and live in awareness to see them, and the magic that trails along with their presence in everything we allow ourselves to see.
There is a beauty in being comfortable walking into the shadows and dark corners of our psyche and our truth.  This beauty is ineffable and most usually only able to be felt deep within yourself if you are lucky enough to push past fear to witness it. There is a bravery  in what once we have seen, lived and felt  branded us. No one else, outside yourself can know what it was to be there, acknowledge it, and come back to the light of our own love and kindness by choice. It is yours, unique and a gift. If you so gather the (she) balls to face it and follow through with honest assessment and compassion.

I really can't get "stuck" when I stop to think about the three children that challenge and push me to grow everyday. They are the reasons and grounding for all that keeps me stable and sound in mind to do better and improve myself to improve their lives. 

My son has a look in his eyes that can warm my soul to the core and cheeks that beg for chewing on. My younger daughter is a spitting image of my father and sister, but has the soul-imprint of my mischievous and magnificent heart to give love and be curious. My first daughter is the grace and the gathering of all that my husband and I are and have been. She is flexible and beautiful, but confused and continually changing, she is compassion personified but like us, struggles with self-care and boundaries of love and letting go. Sensitivity runs through all of them, and for that I am most blessed.  

We all hold within our hearts and souls to recognize who we are, and look into the deepest shadows and then simply, brush ourselves off of whatever false beliefs have lead to us to hide from such darkness before, and instead, lift our chins, deep inhale, chest out, heart open and walk forward to whatever it is that is next. Where there is intensity of darkness, residing there as well,  is intensity of the brightest and most illuminating light. 

One does not exist without the other and therefore you are always able to dabble and dance in the polarities of each. Polarity gets a bad rap, but it is in every single part of nature. As far as you are willing to journey into one end, so too, the other direction is available to teach you. I choose to go into the depths. I am no longer fearful of the shadows and looming dark because I learned, and know now, that the darker and deeper I push myself to accept only leads to the equivalent in light, and both always point back to love or a lacking of love, but answers and understandings come from that place: love. Self-love. All of it is myself, and my journey. I've spent too much time listening or believing what other people think I am, or am doing, or have done. Yet, I know nothing of their finer life details or journey, nor do I presume to.  I know this very short and precious life is my own, and in using loving acceptance, it is only love I find, in the light.... and in the dark places.

A simple contemplative morning can lead to the knowing and understanding it takes to move forward. To move away from fear and failure and hurt is to choose to grow from it, not blame it. I do just that…I move forward into change, and into the unknown because the most important thing I realized today was that just because I “know” something or a pattern or a way of life doesn’t mean it is right for me.  Comfort is not conducive to change. Complacency and fear of change stunts the potentiality we all possess. Does it feel safer? Sure.  Is following your own truth and honest dreams a mass-accepted cake-walk? No,  its a labyrinth of discomfort, dark, doubt,  daunting nay-sayers.  But this little light keeps reminding me that if I trust the journey and myself that I will prevail and prosper. They key for me is to make sure I keep my soul’s compass in line with my heart. They are the same and they are all I have when the days begin and end, no matter how, when and what happened in between.

I intend to follow that compass. I hope I find others who do the same, and we may encourage and love each other with the purest intentions, because ultimately everyone is me, and I am in everyone by being all that is, and also by being nothing, we are all everything for each other and we owe the world and each other everything.

Cheers to change, moms, metanoia  mistakes, magic, metaphysical, the menial and mundane, missteps and mystics. 


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Monday, September 14, 2015

"NO! I can't take a break! I'm writing an article on flexibility andreceptivity! Go Away! "

This past weekend, as with all of my life lately, lots of changes have popped up. For starters, I bought a house and I’m moving in a month. I had a couple huge epiphanies that are still bouncing through my daily routine and life and I’m inching closer to launching a new business project.

Not surprisingly, all of the above just kind of shuffled into my life with quiet movement of a stranger in a doctor’s office lobby and plopped down. No big entrance or even anything more than a salutation-like head nod of acknowledgment. Why? Great question. I don’t know.

I know that my neurotic self-critical mind plays out conversations old peers have of how funny it will be to watch me fail. I know good friends, my ex and nearly everybody gives me that sweet, pity look of “Sure…. you’ll do great with that business.”

Sunday I was feisty and irritated the way all writers or anyone with huge unattainable expectations of the day can be. I was in a tizzy and trying to push off a friend wanting to meet for lunch. “EAT? Now? I’ve got so much to do! Fine…give me twenty minutes to meditate”

I sometimes randomly select a card from an Angel Tarot Deck I love. It takes the “think” out of it. I love signs, synchronicites and in a time of my life where I feel so alone and left standing to make a million decisions, its nice to pass the proverbial buck.

The card I pulled was one I’d never seen and said something like this:

“Patience! Slow the F- down!” (Yes, I’m paraphrasing…Angels don’t scream.)

“You dreams are blooming more rapidly than you realize. Still, they need nurturing and patience.”  On the back it said: “It takes time for a seedling to push through the ground and mature into a flower- bearing plant. Yet, each moment of a plant’s life cycle can bring joy to those who notice beauty. In the same way, enjoy the process of realizing your dreams. Slow down and feel gratitude as each step brings your manifestations into tangible form. Notice the lessons and love that springs from every moment that you engage in acting upon your dreams.”
      Doreen Virtue Angel Oracle Deck.

Little moments like that can shake one’s entire perspective. I’ve been working on two mini-collections of paintings and photo-quotes. One is about the “Heart Compass” and the other is called “Grace Gumption and Gratitude.” It’s cute really, to be faced with your own obnoxious hypocrisy all by yourself. (read: myself.)

I understand the concepts of slowing down, of smelling roses. I can put beautiful images together in pretty word trains that inspire exactly what that card said to do.  I just happened to be too busy, and crabby, and spread thinly to entertain the indulgent and rather rude idea of people wanting to spend quality time! Ha. I literally laughed at myself for a few minutes staring at the card. Laughed hard.

I’m the oxymoronic concept of creative flow being white-knuckled without sleep so I can try and share the recent understandings I’ve come to about how precious time, life, self-love and acceptance are because letting go, trusting, following your own path and grounding in gratitude is so very healing.

So I meditated without expectation, just on gratitude and slowing to nothingness. In fact, after that meditation which felt amazingly freeing, I walked out of my office and met my friend, and didn’t work on painting, or my website, or novels, or articles the rest of the day…I just stopped. Stopped everything else except being grateful and paying attention.

Then strangely, my three-year old son, whom I usually consider my “human distraction” and I spent hours carrying my paintings one-by-one out to the front yard and sprayed them with UV varnish, and other non-environmentally friendly sprays. We talked. We laughed. I spoke to him like I was talking to an adult and he responded (with minimal truth or relevance) as if he knew what I was saying, just like all of us. I truly was besotted with him, as you might be able to tell from the video below:

Then my older daughter came out, and asked if she could paint. We sat in the September sun as it warms the breeze and presents a golden hue over everything just listening to music and making art.

Huh. So let’s recap: I was pissed I couldn’t work, so I tried to control my schedule with fury. Then an Angel card says “You’re nuts and missing your life.” So I walkout out on all my self-placed expectations and just live. In just living, I end up completing not, one or three, but five paintings WHILST spending quality time both outside and with my two out of three of my children?

Does it not make you snicker at how obnoxiously complicated we all tend to make our lives? Control, limits, constraint, ego and negative thoughts didn’t get my work done. Nope, letting go did.

I’d say that’s something to be grateful for, and It has inspired me to hold my self to a Seven day gratitude challenge. Each day I have to meditate only on my blessings, approach absolutely everything with a perspective of gratitude, help two people for absolutely no reason other than they could use it….in whatever way necessary, and list fifty things I’m grateful for every day.

I’m in awe sometimes at how funny the universe and powers that be are. The humor is not lost on me, even if my youthful non-grey hair is because of these little lessons.

Grace, gumption and gratitude. 

I’m on it!


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Anne Lamott sounded like a mirror- "Bird By Bird" and the words that changed my direction, yet again.

I wasn't an early adopter of Anne Lamott.  I'd seen her books, heard about her as a writer, but I (at the time) was snarky and arrogant and discounted her for being religious or "Jesus-y." Maybe because I was in that self-absorbed "Anyone claiming to know, knows nothing." phase, either way, I cringe at myself. I imagine that's just another beautiful age spot of growing up for the soul. I think I actually called her "Anne Lamont" up until yesterday. *Sigh*

An acquaintance from my local town sent me her book "Bird by Bird." from Amazon as a gift. This was such a tender nudge of support in a time where if not all, most people here from my tennis team, to preschool to nearly anyone with a heartbeat loathed me for the foibles and mistakes and horrors I'd committed, but even more so for my candor in owning them. In that tempest of shit-slinging and falling out, the beacon-book arrived.

In full disclosure,  I read the first few chapters but at the time was in a "writing mania." When those hit, I don't do anything other than minimum necessity to stay alive to write more. Last night though, while I was stuck doing inventory and menial administrative tasks for a business I'm trying to launch, (as a means to possibly support my love for writing.) I decided to put on her audio book.

Before I knew it, I was crying about the death of her father, so similar to my experiences with my father. I was laughing at her biting self-deprecation and honesty. More than anything, I was absolutely stunned and embarrassed to acknowledge I was the same person that believed she was "peg-able" by one aspect of herself. Sure, she is spiritual, but my god, she is political! She is funny as F*ck! She is brilliant and her comedic timing and analogy use made me stop and take notes.

I adore her. I spent an hour trying to find these classes of which she references in California, but came up with nothing. I was painting at the time, and through the enchanting first two hours of the audio book, I had completed two paintings. One of which I had started a week ago, but hadn't figured out exactly what the quote on it should be...something about balance, or mess and poise. Then her chapter on perfection hit a nerve of recognition and boom!

Original quote: "There is a balance in letting the mess ad mistakes splay out. Only then, in contrast, can all things (especially writing) come from a truth that touches, instead of a perfection that tends to push most people away."
The healing stone on it is "Chrysocolla" known for it's energy of truth, communication, and letting go. 

I'm no gifted sage, nor am I a great writer, but I do know that I've been published and that was met with the loudest resounding thunk of silence. She spoke to my soul explaining the fantasy and disillusion writers often have of that "step." I felt as if she validated and comforted me, not for being "good" or because I think I'm comparable to what she says is necessary to be "good." No, I heard my own thoughts, mind, and neurosis in every word she said about the work, the doubt and the gutting pendulum of sitting at your keyboard and running away.

I often describe the lonesome feeling of a fledgling (fumbling?) writer to be similar to the scene in the recent movie Gravity where Sandra Bullock is flipping haphazardly in her space suit into the giant, swallowing emptiness with no sign of stopping or anything remotely close.

Its not lonely, it's not even alone, it's a solitude too grand to be explained in words, hence the visual and that accompanying pit in all the viewers stomachs as they watched. That, right there is all too often my general state of being...until I heard Anne's words. I heard myself! I realized I'm not at all alone. Nor do I seem to be the unique anomaly of a writer who loathes herself, gives up, brings the wrath of every critic and yet, has the arrogance to stay at the desk, writing, for fear of either losing my mind, or not sharing what I believe I have inside myself.

 It was an ah-ha moment. It was a pivotal point in my most recent block. Energetically, literally, and philosophically, I've been a bit blocked with my life and writing in general. I must say it now, and I will probably say it every day for months in my daily prayers and meditations:


If you are a writer, or creative, or married to, dating, or parent, child or friend to a writer, you can't go wrong reading this book. It gives so much and so graciously and without ego. I may be found on eBay looking for signed copies to keep tucked in my pants as a new ritual. Who knows? Stranger things happen in my life.

Here are a few wisdom nuggets from the novel:

"A writer paradoxically seeks the truth and tells lies every step of the way." 

" It is a lie if you make something up. But, you make it up in the name of the truth and then you give your heart to expressing it clearly." 

"The other voices are banshees, drunken monkeys....somehow, in the face of all this you clear a space for the ' writer voice' hacking away at the others with machetes." 

"Bird by bird, buddy. Take it bird by bird." - On how to approach a school report on birds, to his son on the eve of it's due date.  (Anne Lamott and her late, great father: Kenneth Church Lamott.)

I know, without hesitation that her father is beaming with a pride and slight criticism of the technical or some random "puffery", but beaming. There is something about us daughters and losing our dads before they could see us do what they watched us dream of.

***A special thank you to the woman (you know who you are) for being brave and kind enough to throw me a olive branch in the floods. I can not thank you enough.  -

Yes that reads like I'm receiving an award. Worry not, I think no such thing, rather I'm grateful for the five of you reading this blog.  Love you!


"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."