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Showing posts from 2012

Re-filling the Well

I spent the last few days mostly offline as I enjoyed the holidays with my family. It was quite refreshing to be unplugged and in the moment with my loved ones! Today brings the gentle return of my attention to the greater world, and with it, the reflective mood that ascends upon me at this time of year.

The winter holidays have us in a flurry of activity, and we tend to set aside our personal needs to meet holiday deadlines. It can leave us feeling drained, sluggish, and out-of-sorts afterward. We are likely sleep-deprived and perhaps suffering from a little gastric distress in the wake of the celebrations. 

The day after Christmas for my family is our day off. We recuperate from the busy weeks of December, sleeping in a bit and being grateful for the exchange of time with family and thoughtful gifts. It's a day to sit in slowness, taking the day as we like. 

Winter brings us the gift of going within, and the brief respite after holiday celebrations can give us some time to re-fill…

For the Children

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As the news hit me about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, all I could do was fall to my knees and allow my heart to break in solidarity with those who have lost their children and family members today. May they be surrounded by the love and prayers that the rest of us are sending out for them. There are no words.
Events like these leave us in shock, harboring disbelief, anger, and raw pain. There is little the rest of us can do right now except light a candle, pray, gather together, and focus on sending their community all the love and light that we can. 
If you feel called, stop on over to the The Loving Tree page and leave your thoughts and prayers there. Together we will hold loving space for the Sandy Hook community in our joined hearts. Many thanks. 



December Daze

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December seems to sneak up on me every year, in a bash-me-on-the-head kind of way. Last year was particularly difficult for me, as a I dealt with a pinched nerve in my shoulder (think copious shopping and gift-wrapping) and I just couldn't get into the spirit of the holiday season, no matter how much meditation and other things I did to try to lift myself up. I felt like there was no time to enjoy the events of the season, and I was frustrated by the commercialism of why we were buying things for people who didn't need them. I couldn't wait till the holidays were over and swore I'd make changes for the future.

At the end of last season, we threw out the old tree that had dysfunctional lights. I went through the ornaments and got rid of the ones we didn't put on the tree anymore. We parted with the kid's artwork from preschool (they're in high school and middle school now) and looked forward to a new start. I told my family that next year would be different, …

Pause Button

This morning I played the waiting game, as the tech from the electric company was scheduled sometime between "8am and noon" to update our gas meter. These kinds of service calls can be frustrating, as it always seems they show up at the end of the 4-hour window rather than the beginning, leaving us feeling "stuck" and not in control. 

This time I decided to switch up my perspective and be grateful for the pause. I have had the morning dedicated to being at home and getting a few things done here. I've enjoyed the leisurely sipping of my coffee and taking my time doing some mundane things, as well as a little quiet time for myself, which gave me the chance to reflect a bit.

Today brought the gift of seeing how important it is to press the pause button to rest, reflect, and recharge. This is a part of self-care that we need to honor, especially after a time of extreme busy-ness. Every day should have a little space in it for us to step back, take stock of where we …

Attitude of Gratitude

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Thanksgiving will be upon us in just a few days where we take time to retreat, gather with families and friends to celebrate, and give thanks for all we have. And it is good. (Although admittedly, sometimes family gatherings can put the "fun" in dysfunctional if there are stressors in our family member's lives, or people have overindulged, or the turkey wasn't quite completely cooked). But we truly have much to be grateful for - the lessons as well as the blessings.

It has been my goal over the past year to take time to be grateful each day, and it has truly changed my life. This small practice has allowed me to slowly recognize that there is an opportunity for growth from the obstacles and some sort of blessing will always follow. No longer does slow traffic or a sudden change of plans leave me frustrated. I still have bad days and sometimes there are BIG challenges, but I start off in a much better place than I used to be.

And I've been able to notice the small …

New Day, New Start

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It's the morning after the elections here in the U.S., and we are a nation of mixed feelings. Some people are crushed by the results, others are joyous and hopeful, and some are in despair. Whether we celebrate or mourn the outcome, we are all in this together. We created the current state of affairs here in our country, and only by working together can we make things better.
And now the hard work begins.
It's a new day. We have the opportunity to change things and bring our country into balance. This will only happen if we can move past our feelings of separate-ness and instead look to focus on our common needs. Underneath our different viewpoints, we all really need and want the same basics: food, shelter, clothing, clean water and air, medical care, a means to support our families, and freedom. Everyone wants these things. Where we differ is how we go about doing it, and in some cases, we've made judgments about who "deserves" what, leaving some people strugglin…

Picking Up the Pieces

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Hurricane Sandy has left quite a mess in her wake. Some areas have less damage than others, and some are still struggling with the storm itself as this is being written. 
Once the storm has passed, there is always some clean-up. In the case of a hurricane, personal lives meet Mother Nature...people may have lost loved ones, have damaged homes and communities, or have lost animals to the storm. Things have changed. Change is really the only constant we can count on here in this life.
What matters now is how we move forward. Whether we survived intact or had great loss, we can get through this together. Natural disasters have a way of helping us to open our hearts and feel compassion for one another. We check on neighbors, help our communities clean up, and make donations for others in need. We step up and really become the best we can be, caring for one another openly, no matter who they are.
Then typically, our lives return to "normal" and we resume our activities as before th…

Weathering the Storm

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Natural disasters have a way of getting our attention. If we're lucky enough to have a warning, we get to prepare, and it usually has us running around chaotically trying to organize what we need in anticipation of the event and fearing the worst.
It also brings an opportunity that we might not otherwise take time to do. We are forced to decide what is truly important to us in an impending disaster scenario. We get brought back to our core. We remember that people and our animals are what counts the most and what we need to take care of. We remember that water, food, shelter, and clothing are the critical needs. We get back to basics and leave the rest behind.
We begin to reach out to one another as we recognize that no one can weather a large storm alone, whether it's an event of Mother Nature's doing, or something difficult in our own lives. We need one another. The storms in our lives remind us of that, helping us open our hearts once again to compassion and the truth of…

Treasure of the Past, Gift of the Moment, and the Wisdom of Grandmothers

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I was cleaning out an old box today, and came across a graduation card my beloved grandmother gave me for my high school graduation 26 years ago. My grandmother passed away within a few months of my graduation, so seeing her signature there on the card today caught my breath. And then I read the words of the poem, and tears flowed freely.


I don't know that I truly grasped those words as a bright-eyed and naive young woman, but I do believe that the meaning was captured in my heart. My grandmother planted a seed, unbeknownst to me, perhaps as a last gift before her passing. Isn't it just like a grandmother to give you a treasure that gets buried deeply somewhere, only to be unearthed much later when you're ready to understand it in a whole new way? 

These words are as relevant now as they were then. What a gift to find this again today, and be able to share it with other women in my life. I honor the wisdom of my grandmother, the author of that beautiful poem, and all women, …

The Art of Self-Care

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 "Self-love, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting." ~William Shakespeare

As the autumn moves along and the cooler weather saunters in, we start our journeys inside. This is the perfect time of year to start doing some extra self-care so that we can avoid the intrepid viruses and flu that come banging at our door as the holiday season approaches.

Our lives are so busy that we often neglect taking good care of ourselves. 

I don't know about anyone else, but my head tends to get full at this time of year from the return of school to the flurry of holidays on their way. I find myself running in circles at times, trying to tackle the stuff on my task list, but it feels like a juggling act where I'm never really quite sure which things are in the air until I've dropped one. I get forgetful, distracted, and very much like a squirrel trying to figure out where to hide her nuts. And somehow at the end of the day, I look at the task list that has nothing checked off, but I…

Branching Out

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." ~Henry David Thoreau

Yeah, that. Wise words. Wonderful words. And scary.

I'm on the precipice, ready to jump, but not sure where I'll land. So many thoughts and feelings as I stand on the edge, ready to fly, knowing I've spent my life working to get to this time. 20 years in the making to follow my dream of a becoming a holistic wellness practitioner and writer.

But will I hit the cliff instead of flying? Will I get blown off-course by a shear wind? Or will my wings open gracefully, catching the current, sun glistening off my shimmering feathers?

Well, I won't know till I jump. So I'm jumping... 

Please check out "The Apothecary" page where I just posted some tidbits for Fall and Winter. This is just the beginning, I still have lots to do "officially", but wanted to start sharing some goodies as I hear pe…

The Blame Game, the Ugly Truth, and Ascent from the Pit

A bit of a rant, but please stick around to the end. It gets better. :)

The American culture is in a state of transition, and there is plenty of blame to go around for everything that is out of balance, from the economy to education to energy resources, etc.

Guess what? We're all to blame for what's not working. Every single one of us. If we didn't do it, we allowed stuff to happen. We all played a role here - we co-created the culture we now have.

And what do we have? 

A broken economy. Debt from war we had no place in. We're raping the earth for finite resources that will not sustain us. We're sick from stress-related diseases. We have a broken education system where the teachers are blamed for its failure. We have endeared a culture where both parents now have to work in order to make ends meet, so keeping up with family life and having the energy and time to love and care for our children in the way we want and should is nearly impossible. Our children are fallin…

Heart-Centered Healing

My attention has been drawn lately to those who are living with debilitating chronic health conditions. The pain and immense change to their lives has been nothing short of disturbing, and ailments like auto-immune disorders leave us at a loss for answers. Some symptoms can be controlled, but there seems to be very little healing going on. My heart goes out to those who suffer in this manner, and I'm wondering how we can begin to approach healing in our culture a little differently. I think we're missing something.

We are complex beings and everything in our lives and bodies is integrated. When we compartmentalize and try to separate out our health from our job, family, friends, environment, etc., we do a disservice to ourselves, and we are incomplete. We are related to everything in our world...our health, our family, our jobs, our planet. All are connected. 

If we are to be well, we need to address all our needs: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And by spiritual…

The Moment is Now

Sometimes we have a revelation, an epiphany that we wished we had discovered years ago. And there is no other way to discover it except to come to the conclusion ourselves. No matter how many people tried to tell us or show us or make us understand, we didn't see it. Not until the experience presented itself so that we could understand up close and personal.

Almost a year ago, one of my dear friends lost her police-officer husband in the line of duty. It was a normal evening when he went off to serve as he always did, and he died doing what he committed his life to doing. In the blink of an eye, his life was ended, and her life was changed.

There are a thousand ways to grieve but no words to take the pain away from my friend. There's no "undo" button that we can click to change things. I've believed for a long time that as long as nobody died, we have the chance to fix our mistakes and make amends. But when someone dies, there's no more chances to fix things.…

Stressing the Limits

This year has been one of discovery, sometimes wrapped in beautiful-colored wrapping, and some of it plainly sitting there staring up at me, as a pile of poo. The ugly truth.

I've learned a lot about myself, and continue to break down the lies I've told myself every day. I've come to discover that ultimately, I've been living life SCARED. And that's...well, disappointing. I was aiming for SACRED. (You know, making every moment count, honoring myself and all things in this life). Oops.

Having been given enough experiences in the past few years to make me realize that I'm a perfectionist, things now makes a lot more sense. I had just never delved this deep into who I am. I've always considered  other people's opinions of me very important. When someone was angry or disappointed in me, I tried to do everything I could to make up for it. I never realized until this year, that people's judgments of me are about them, and not me at all. Others are judging…

Speaking Our Truth

A wise minister once said something that stuck with me, "Speak the truth with love".

Speaking our truth with love is expressing our needs, thoughts, beliefs, and feelings in a way that is honest and respectful to ourselves and others. The words we say and how we choose to say them makes a huge difference in how they're received by others.

When we find ourselves in a situation that feels out of place for us, we need to be able to step away and say, "no thank you". We shouldn't judge or be offensive in expressing ourselves, but we do have the right and responsibility to withdraw our support and energy from things that are not right for us or harm us and others. When we stay with things that we know don't fit us, we become miserable. Sometimes we fail to act until the pain of staying in a place that we don't belong is worse than the fear of speaking our truth. And then we speak our truth in an explosion, and not usually with love.

"And the day c…

Rooting Where We Stand

It's been an intense few weeks. It's summer and things are hot and burning - wildfires in the west, drought conditions in much of the country, and chicken empire CEO's.

The whole Chick-fil-A thing has been a comedy of errors. Businesses do have a right to operate their business based on their values, so long as they're not violating current law. Cities should not have the right to disallow businesses because of the owner's religious beliefs. Consumers have the right to patronize businesses they like and agree with, and those who disagree with a business owner's practices and policies have the right to take their business elsewhere.

I acknowledge and honor and agree that we have religious freedom in this country, and the Chick-fil-A CEO has the right to say he doesn't believe in same-sex marriage. I read an article that talked about business owners needing to stand on two feet in their values. Bravo, Mr. Cathy. You've done just that.

That being said, p…

Confessions of a Closet Perfectionist

This morning a picture crossed my Facebook page that caught my attention. It had a list of the months of the year, where you looked up the month you were born and it listed a defining quality of your personality. Being born in October, I was anxious to see what it said.

October = "Born the perfectionists"

What?! The other months had things like nicest, sexiest, sweetest (although February was "craziest"). I  was expecting "flexible, peace-maker, easy to get along with" or something like that. Perfectionist was the complete opposite of what I was thinking. I really don't expect perfection from anyone. I'm an optimist, and I know that we're all human, and no one's perfect. I believe that. I spend plenty of time laughing at my own mistakes and recognizing it's how we grow, and not making a big deal of the mistakes that other people make. My experience has been that "perfectionists" tend to judge and look down upon others and th…

Ebb, Flow, and a Dying Microwave

Sometimes it's the little things that can just set our day wrong from the get-go, and it's hard to put it back right...

Hubby wakes me up before he leaves for work this morning, with the announcement that the microwave is dead and he's unplugged it and remove it from the kitchen. Apparently it had some sort of seizure around 4am, with the screen going all crazy-blinky and making beeping sounds in it's last breath. I sigh, and several thoughts hit me all at once:
DANG. Microwave shopping was so not on the list or budget for this week. Oops! Gratitude first - Thank you for not going out in a ball of flame. :)Hey - I feel kinda like that microwave sometimes. Like I'm just trying to stay in the flow of things, but people keep popping open my door and pushing my buttons. Sometimes I wanna have a blinky-bleepy seizure and stop working too!Then I feel kind sad, because none of us were awake to honor the passing of that reliable cooking device. There were really no signs t…

Synchronicities: Grandmothers, Water, & All My Relations

First, a warning: this is a loooong post. I think it probably fits into the "babble" category. What does one call a blog that babbles? A blobble?

But I had to write. I was no less than compelled to share what is contained within. I won't apologize for speaking from my heart and sharing my experiences in the hopes that someone might find a small nugget that's helpful & meaningful. But it is fair to say that you might wanna grab a cuppa before you read further. I considered dividing this "blobble" into three separate posts, but it needed to maintain continuity, so I'm doing as I'm guided. The post is in three sections though, so you could squeeze in a well-timed bathroom break. ;)

I will apologize for any misspellings, incorrect grammar, and all those sorts of things that can happen when stuff just comes pouring through and you gotta get it down. This was torrential rain, so please bear with me!

When the universe speaks, it pays to listen. Did yo…