Wednesday, July 31, 2013

At the Center of You There Is Love.

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” 

Every single day, I meditate on this one simple and most fundamental truth ~ that at the very center of each and all and every one of our beings...

there is, simply love.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~

Living the Good Life.

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." ~ Oscar Wilde 

Too often, we live our lives in a sort of buffered silence, fearful of venturing out into this, the most beautiful part of our being. 

This is your life, and it is a life that is as of yet, undiscovered. 

You decide your destiny, and you...are the creator of your dreams.

Shake free your fears and hesitations

And, lean into the bliss of your own discovery.

My most beautiful friends, "Rise up. Be your own guru. This IS the big show."

From "Good Life Project", Jonathan Fields  who provides his insight on living the good life through his most inspirational Living Creed

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finding Happiness Amongst Uncertainty.

“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.” 

~ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Beauty and Terror"

I was intrigued reading over these words, just this morning ~ and as I sat watching my faithful pup breathe out a most-contented sigh.

It's as if in these short moments, simple flecks of time, he is able to surrender fully to all of life and that which life brings us.

And just by breathing in...he settles in.

A friend joked the other day that he and his dog both suffered the troubles of a "5 minute memory" ~ as if, this was such a very bad thing.

But, perhaps that is the trick of it, isn't it?

To allow things to sit, for only just a little bit ~ and then bid them farewell as they slip away into another day.

"No feeling is ever final."

Too often, we find ourselves struggling to hold onto happiness ~ fearing it forever lost in the wash of emotions that life carries with it.

And we are left to wonder, how we may embrace the absolute richness of this life when we ourselves appear to weaken.

How do we create a happiness that is big enough to experience all of these moments - the fear, the pain, the heartache and sorrow...and for continuous gratitude, as well?

It's this very impermanence that creates a space of 'fully living.'

So, my dears, instead of worrying so very much over the 'what might have beens' ~

"Flare up like a flame, and make big shadows..." for true happiness to settle in.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Change Within.

"I prayed for change, so I changed my mind.
I prayed for guidance and learned to trust myself.
I prayed for happiness and realized I am not my ego.
I prayed for peace and learned to accept others unconditionally.
I prayed for abundance and realized my doubt kept it out.
I prayed for wealth and realized it is my health.
I prayed for a miracle and realized I am the miracle.
I prayed for a soul mate and realized I am the One.
I prayed for love and realized it’s always knocking, but I have to allow it in. "

~ Jackson Kiddard
Always, each day, these things we wish for ~ and every morning upon waking up we wonder, "will this be our day?"

And we shuffle off to bed at day's end, lamenting that the best has never been.

But, how little do we know the capacity for which we control these very things...the love in our lives, the happiness in our hearts, and the fullness of each and every moment?

We pray outwards to the universe for change, never realizing that this change has always and will forever be...right here, within.

Namaste my most beautiful friends ~ and may your prayers today serve as a reminder. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Heartbreaking Video Shows Dog Crying at the Grave of Owner's Grandmother.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.” 

~ Milan Kundera

And, never a truer statement has there been.

My own faithful pup, Nudnick, has proven just this time and time again.

He has been there for me through each life challenge, always ready with the waggy tail to help gently shift things back into perspective.

Oh, and how he shares of his heart, without question, each day ~ this, the truest expression of unconditional love.

Meet Wiley, who is one of a number of 'service wolves' that are tasked to help heal our veterans returning with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And Wiley, has faithfully attended this mission working in partnership with the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center's (LARC), Warriors with Wolves program.

I have always felt it takes a very special dog to create a space of compassion and healing. But, as of yet, I have been unsuccessful at putting into words just what 'special' means to me.

However, I believe this video makes the point quite clearly.

In this most brilliant video, Wiley appears to be sobbing at the grave site of her owner's late grandmother, Gladys.

In the background, you will hear the words, "We miss her, too."

You see, Gladys was a long-time supporter and very dear friend of all the animals here at LARC.

And, as you can see by this video ~ she will be very much, and most dearly missed.

Video: Wiley Offers His Love.

Oh, How Our Thoughts Do Ripple.

"Every act, thought, and choice adds to the permanent mosaic: Our decisions ripple through the universe of consciousness to affect the lives of all. Every act or decision made that supports life, supports all life, including our own."

~ David R. Hawkins

My dears, too often we live our lives in under a veil of what we have perceived to have been ~ our minds spinning wondrous tales intended to fan the embers of our own most-human propensities.

And, we give in to those stories ~ getting caught up in that dialog of all those things we feel might have been. 

Our minds are sometimes a rather tricky place ~ it knows enough to take in all of our surroundings, but it takes a true soul to make any sense of it.

That's where the heart of a human comes in...

Because, it's the heart that has the capacity to lead us through no matter what the mind may think of it...

If only we listen.

My dears, every thought ripples through ~ even those woven of fear and doubt and insecurity...those, too, become intrinsically woven into the fabric of all that surrounds us.

And we, must be ever-mindful of the ripples your own thoughts are creating.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Little Something About Our Connectedness.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

~ Herman Melville 

I was thinking over a few things this morning, and as I settled into my most favorite chair on the farthest corner of my garden patio.

And, as I watched the steam rise in brilliant swirls to greet the crisp morning air ~ I couldn't help but to think over all of this world's 'connectedness.'

From something as simple as watching the steam rise from my mug, I am reminded of the million and one simple things that bring us all here together as one...

We humans are a curious sort, always wallowing about in our loneliness ~ but, how can we feel so very much alone in a universe that insists upon our connectedness?

My dears, “just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean"

so, too, must we always remember that we are a most integral part of all that which surrounds us...

Because, my most beautiful friends, in the end ~ we are all, very much, 'connected.'

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Little Something on Being Human.

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”

~ Pema Chödrön

My dears, I must confess I have been just a bit under the weather these past few days ~ my mind distracted into a million swirling paths of 'what ifs' and 'what might have beens.'

I was thinking over my health, and the limitations I am currently experiencing....

I was thinking of my son, who will soon be stepping out into this world, fearless and full of dreams...and praying those dreams shall always be answered.

I was thinking over a few words recently spoken to me, and which had the affect of bringing a profound emptiness...

I was thinking of the pile of dirty dishes, still left towering in my sink...

I was thinking of that pile of dustiness in the farthest corner of the kitchen floor... and all of the clothes still left unfolded.

Our minds are sometimes just this way, engaged in this endless path of conversation bits and leading to nowhere in the end...

And I reached for my very first cup of morning decaf...that's when it happened, as I watched my most favorite mug slip from my hands and shatter to the ground.

Oh, my dears, we all have days just like these...the ones that leave us in a sniffling pile of brokenness, in the dustiest corner of our, as of yet, unswept kitchen floor.

And, as I gathered up these broken pieces...sniffling and carrying on...this most amazing thought washed over me.

That I, this simple fleck of stardust floating about in the vastness of this most amazing universe...had within me, this capacity to feel.

And suddenly, I realized ~ to have this much passion in our hearts, is the most beautiful aspect of our being.

My dears, to have this much passion in our what truly makes this life so very much worth living.

In all of its pain and sorrow, and bumps and bruises...there is always a most brilliant magnificence...

That is, to experience this it's most fullest sense... my dears, that is what makes this life so very much worth living.

To be this human, is the best part of our being.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ and, may we all embrace our humanness this day.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Little Something on Helping Others.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Passion Inside.

“The brave don't live forever but the cautious don't live at all. The only thing that's truly terrifying is the unlived life.”

I was thinking over life this morning, and just as I often do ~ with my faithful pup, snoring at my side, and the sight of the sun coming up over the fence line. 
So often, we find ourselves in this space of 'holding back' ~ an endless loop of hesitation, fearfulness, and regret...

Meanwhile, these moments keep passing ~ just as sure as this sun shall once again take its place over this fence line, and I shall stand here gazing upwards and wondering over this life I have lived.
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”

Life is just this way ~ a continuous push-pull balance between our deepest fears and the most brilliant aspects of our divine spirit.
We stand there frozen in our own hesitation, fearful of moving closer to our humanness.
I choose to live a life filled with all of my chances taken,
And, each of these stones turned over at least once again.
I choose to live my life with open heart, and no words ever left unspoken,
I choose to live a life of no regrets. 
My dears, there is one thing I have learned over these oh-so many years...
That's this very passion inside that makes us fearless...

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Little Something About Circumstance.

Photo: Gregory Colbert

"One tree can be made into a million matchsticks, but only one match is needed to ravish an entire forest." ~ Unknown

Our circumstances may change at any given moment, and what seems immediately an impossibility ~ in time, becomes our greatest gift.

I have often thought of this concept, particularly, as I face life's many challenges ~ trying my best to be mindful that time, energy, and circumstance are constantly changing...and our feelings resulting, are never permanent.

There are those who'll blame dumb luck or fate; as if either of these would hold any ill will towards us, at all.

And others, perhaps of a more spiritual in sort, would attribute their unease to karma...wondering what sequence of cause and effect brought these challenges to bare.

But dumb luck...fate...and karma, they knowing nothing of us. They know nothing of our heart or being.

"Does fire know us when it burns? No, it is the nature of fire to burn, to give out heat; our affair is to use it in the right way, we are foolish if we grow angry and blame it when it burns us because we have made a mistake."
My dears, all of these things in our life ~ as unpleasant as they may, at first, appear to be....they are all part of our 'spiritual settling in' ... causing us to grow in ways not ever expected.

Rather, these challenges, when approached with the right frame of mind ~ they become the very thing which empowers us.

My most beautiful friends, we alone are responsible for our happiness and misery; and we alone, create our own 'heaven and hell.'

And just as sure as the wind may at whim change its direction, so too, may our circumstances.

In this way, all of life, is a most precious and never-ending gift.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...thank you for the gift of your patience these last few days.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Little Something On Possibility.

“Maybe there's a whole other universe where a square moon rises in the sky, and the stars laugh in cold voices, and some of the triangles have four sides, and some have five, and some have five raised to the fifth power of sides. In this universe there might grow roses which sing. Everything leads to everything.”

~ Stephen King

When I was a little girl, I was all but fully convinced that the moon followed me along my every path.

In part, I suppose, due to my own 8-year-old starry-eyed little girl naivete...

And, in part due to my Father's incomparable ability to weave a good story.

He was always wishing for me to believe in those things that weren't always immediately clear.

Possibility always seems to find me here, along life's many dusted trails ~ and bathed in the light of my very own imagination.

Lost in these ponderings-on...and wondering what new 'stories' are here to share...

As I dream of this other universe in which the roses grow to sing.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~

Monday, July 22, 2013

Your Most Amazing Quote of the Day (Pema Chödrön).

“Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape -- all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain.”

Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times

You Are Here.

“A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us.”

~ Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare You 

You are here....and, my dears, you are just exactly and always where you are most meant to be.

And, even on those days when life's challenges may leave you weary ~ trust, that there is always a greater purpose to this most unpleasant unsettling.

We humans are a curious sort, now aren't we? Always looking for our way through, this endless loop of forever being caught up in our heads.

That we often miss the thing that matters most of this moment, the gift of now.
So, stop struggling so very much with up, and lean in just a little ways...

Because, my dears, in doing so ~ you just might find a little extra piece of amazing in this day.
“It is possible to move through the drama of our lives without believing so earnestly in the character that we play. That we take ourselves so seriously, that we are so absurdly important in our own minds, is a problem for us. We feel justified in being annoyed with everything. We feel justified in denigrating ourselves or in feeling that we are more clever than other people. Self-importance hurts us, limiting us to the narrow world of our likes and dislikes. We end up bored to death with ourselves and our world. We end up never satisfied.”

~ Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

How to Listen.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”  ~ Norton Juster

I was sitting quietly in meditation this morning ~ the sounds of summer's great crescendo filling the air surrounding me...rising and falling, as if in sync with my very own breath.

There's a certain magic here ~ in these moments when our minds are finally still enough to hear the magnificence that surrounds us...

It's when we are silent, that we are most able to listen.

And, my dears, when we truly listen, everything in this world becomes most beautiful once again.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...may we all find a moment to be still in this day.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Not "Good Enough" to Create...?!

 "The desire to create is one of the deepest yearning of the human soul." ~ Unknown

Someone wrote to me with the silliest of notions today... it was something along the lines of not feeling they were 'good enough' to create..

My dears, everyone in the life and on this beautiful planet is born with a limitless capacity to share... and to create.

And yet, somewhere along the line we have convinced ourselves otherwise.

My dears, rest assured ~ just as the sun greets us each day, and the wind rustles up that patch of trees... and the rain touches our skin on the latter part of a late summer day... so, too, must we all create.

Oh, I suppose I could cite something from the farthest (and dustiest) reaches of some medical journal and indicating some genetic jib-jab justifications for the science of creation...

But, that doesn't even begin to touch the very heart of it, now does it?

That endless drive that nudges you in the middle of the darkest night, and sending you scrambling for a small scrap of paper and a little something to write with...

And it doesn't even begin to describe the many ways you wonder why, as you sit sipping sweet tea and watching the hummingbirds flight through the garden....

Or, the way the words match the music in just that so completely perfect sort of way...

It's in all of us my dears, and it's good ~ every single bit of it...

And, my dears, your only job is to get on with it...

Namaste, my most beautiful (and creative friends)...

And so, enough of this nonsense,

My Friend, "Dawn."

“Veil after veil of thin dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colours of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern.”
Oscar Wilde 

I have developed a wonderful habit over these years, of taking these moments, when both time and spirit allow ~ to greet, each day, the morning sun and from our favorite meeting spot...two well-worn steel chairs on the back corner of my old stone garden patio.

She always amazes me, my dearest friend, Dawn ~ like an old Southern Belle, tossing with great relish the bright fabrics of her chiffon dress as she sashays her way into this most magnificent ballroom, and beaming with the pride of a history, so grande...

And though, great men have tried for many years to woo draw her nearer ~ my dear friend, Dawn, slips always away without notice and just before her visit grows too long. We Southern gals know best when to leave the party ~ with only the soft hint of honeysuckle and the memory of our smiles left behind.

You see, a true lady never stays beyond her welcome...and her allure steeped in a tradition of effervescent loveliness...

Making her visits here to my garden each day as welcomed as a sip of iced-cold sweet tea on a hot and milky summer's morning.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Choosing Opportunity Over Disaster.

"Someone says something, does something. You react. In the space between those sentences --- a matter of seconds, if that --- lies disaster. Or, opportunity." ~ Jesse Kornbluth
How often is it that we find ourselves 'spinning' ~ out of control on a path of emotional upset, leading to a place that we know will leave our heart most unsettled.

There is no resolution here.

And, there is no spiritual bliss.

What we've just done is repeated an old habit ~ we have reacted from a space of past hurt, anger, aggression...or general, 'missing-ness'

We have reacted from this place of profound emptiness.

In this way, we believe we are acting justly ~ pushing first, before the hurt settles in.

But, our actions...these reactions...only serve to reinforce those 'pieces of me' we most hope to resolve.

And the cycle goes on...

Unless, we determine what matters most of all.

Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön, shared the following most beautiful story, of an American serviceman in Iraq, and the very moment his mind shifted perspective.

"A serviceman in Iraq told this story: He said it happened on a pretty typical day, when he had once again witnessed his fellow soldiers, people he loved, being blown up. And once again he and all the others in his division wanted revenge. When they located some Iraqi men who were possibly responsible for killing their friends, they went into the men’s darkened house, and because of their anger and being in such a claustrophobic situation where violence was the atmosphere they breathed, the soldiers acted out their frustration by beating up the men.

Then when they put a flashlight on their captives’ faces, they saw that one of them was only a young boy who had Down’s syndrome.

This American serviceman had a son with Down’s syndrome.

No need to tell you the rest of that story, is there?"

In the span of that one single moment, and with this simplest shift of perspective ~ even the angriest of hearts may find love.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...

It's Never Too Late to Create.

“When you’re not making stuff, there’s this part of you that aches, but you don’t know that’s why it aches.” ~ Lisa Congdon

Imagine living each day with this gnawing sense that something is missing.

And, imagine the day you finally realize that this something missing is actually the better part of the very best of you?

Watch this most beautiful video from artist, Lisa Congdon, who understands so completely the meaning... it's never too late.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Power of Hugs.

 "Millions and millions of years would still not give me half enough time to describe that tiny instant of eternity when you put your arms around me and I put my arms around you." ~ Jacques Prevert

Imagine a place so wonderful that each new day that arrived you were welcomed with a hug?

A hug is one of the most basic aspects of human touch ~ often, breaking down barriers that a million carefully placed words and all this great expanse of time might not ever do.

And, its beauty is in its simplicity ~ two arms wrapped tightly around, and in an effort to fulfill that most basic human nee...that of touch, and of love.

In the span of one single hug ~ the whole of our entire inner-universe might change.

Because, my dears...only hugs are born from this kind of unconditional love... 

And hugs, my most beautiful friends...are the one thing that connects us all.

Namaste....and many hugs this day!

Video: Tim's Place

Welcome to Tim's Place, a unique and most inspiring restaurant where all dishes come with a heaping side of hugs.

"Tim Harris, owner of Tim's Place, is the country's only restaurant owner with Down's Syndrome, and the joy he gets from serving people good food carries over into his diner's most famous export: hugs! Tim's restaurant is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is open 7 days a week. Read more about Tim & his restaurant here:"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How These Hands Can Change This World.

“Tomorrow is not a promise, but a chance.” ~ Rachel Joy Scott  (1981-1999); Student, Columbine High School

She was the very first victim of the Columbine massacre ~ a young woman, just barely 17-years-old and with the life's ambition of changing this world.

In her backpack rested a small notebook that she carried with her each day, on which she had written the words, "I will not be labeled as average."

This was Rachel's Kindness Journal ~ and its pages were filled with each and all and everyone of her hopes and dreams of bringing a little more love to this world.

This was no ordinary child, distracted by the callings of tree climbing and trips to the mall. Rather, this was a child with a much greater mission ~ and one whose roots be found on the back of an old piece of furniture on which she had traced her hands, and written,

"These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will some day touch millions of people's hearts."
How could anyone have known at the time, just how very true these words would soon become.

For you see, Rachel's heart was so filled with hope that it started a chain reaction of loving-kindness. And it was Rachel's infectious optimism that prompted her family to start, Rachel’s Challenge ~ a foundation whose  programs empower both students and adults by creating a culture of kindness and compassion.

By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Rachel's Challenge is helping create safer learning environments and making a world-wide impact. And this dream, Rachel's dream, has impacted the hearts of over 10 million people~ including Chuck Norris, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, Larry King, Oprah, and Bill O'Reilly (and, just to name a few).

"I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same"  

And, that my dears, is how one little heart can change this awfully big world.

The story that changes everything from Rachel's Challenge on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What Do You Choose This Day?

"Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? "
~ Pema Chödrön

My dears, this is the question we all must face within each day and in oh-so very many of ways.

Fear waits for us within each moment ~ crouched like a lion in the tall prairie grasses, waiting patiently for the first signs of weakness to manifest.

Fear never takes on a noteworthy opponent, rather, Fear waits for that moment when all hope has passed.

Fear, you see, is the greatest of spiritual predators.

And, my dears ~ Fear is also a sign that we are moving much closer towards the truth.

The truth of who we really are in all of our bumps and bruises...our upsets and outbursts...and also, all of our gloriousness.

For some reason, and quite oddly enough, that latter truth seems to frighten us the most.

But these moments, as uncomfortable as they may be ~ all of these feeling of loss, fear... Pema would say,
(they) "never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye away from being fully awake."
Namaste, my most beautiful friends...and, just for today, may we try to embrace all of these moments in our day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Most Beautiful Quote for this Day.

 "Many paths lead up the mountain, but at the top we all look at the same bright moon" ~ Ikkyu

For those who are as of yet, unfamiliar, Ikkyu (1394-1481) was a Japanese Zen Buddhist priest and poet. He was also one of the creators of the Japanese tea ceremony.

But most noteworthy, I believe, were these few simple words ~ grounded in a truth that transcends all that we are and believe. 

It is the most fundamental and unchanging truth in this most amazing universe ~ that no matter what, in the end, we are all the same. 

And, that this most beautiful moon shines its light equally upon all, yet favors none.

Namaste, my dear friends... a little something to remember in this day.

Your Patch of Sun for Today.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ― Charles M. Schulz

Good morning, my most beautiful friends ~ the sun is peeking in through a small break in the window drapes, and my dearest puppy has found his place for this day. How wonderful to have a soul just like this...where something as simple as a patch of sun on a well worn carpet completely fills your spirit?

Perhaps, there is a lesson right here ~ ?

Much love, my most beautiful friends ~ and namaste...

Do you have your 'patch of sun' for this day?

What's the Most Important Thing?

One of my most favorite teachings from Pema Chödrön, and one that I wanted very much to share here today. Within each day, I ask myself these very questions ~ what have I done to really live?
It is the basis for all of my thoughts and my being, and my mantra through every moment of my day.
"One of my favorite subjects of contemplation is this question: “Since death is certain, but the time of death is uncertain, what is the most important thing?” You know you will die, but you really don’t know how long you have to wake up from the cocoon of your habitual patterns. You don’t know how much time you have left to fulfill the potential of your precious human birth. Given this, what is the most important thing?

Every day of your life, every morning of your life, you could ask yourself, “As I go into this day, what is the most important thing? What is the best use of this day?”

At my age, it’s kind of scary when I go to bed at night and I look back at the day, and it seems like it passed in the snap of a finger. That was a whole day? What did I do with it? Did I move any closer to being more compassionate, loving, and caring—to being fully awake? Is my mind more open? What did I actually do? I feel how little time there is and how important it is how we spend our time.

What is the best use of each day of our lives?

In one very short day, each of us could become more sane, more compassionate, more tender, more in touch with the dream-like quality of reality.

Or we could bury all these qualities more deeply and get more in touch with solid mind, retreating more into our own cocoon."

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To Give Hope.

"A person, who no matter how desperate the situation, gives others hope, is a true leader.” 
~ Daisaku Ikeda
I was thinking of this just the other day, and as I ponder-walked my favorite trail ~ the one lined with the most beautiful of red wild flowers. 

How simple is it, this act of giving others hope?

To offer a kindness so great that it transcends all boundaries of life and of living?

To offer something that holds no real monetary value ~ and yet, in giving, becomes the most magnificent gift of all?

This, my most beautiful friends, is the gift of hope...

And hope is the truest essence of our life and our being.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...may we all find just one opportunity to offer hope's gift, on this day.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pay Attention to the Love That is Sometimes Missed.

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”

~ Walt Whitman

Today, I had the great blessing of happening upon the most beautiful flowers I believe I have ever seen.

At first, my mind was sadly a bit see, I took the walk in order to find a little peace.

And then I felt the soft tugging of the smallest of flowers, as I a small child desperate for attention...and tugging, "look...look right here...look what I can do!!"

And there it was, this my most beautiful bloom.

Sometimes life's lessons come to us in a way that is so subtle that we might often miss it...if we don't have that moment to pause, to breathe and to see...

Beauty and love surrounds you, my friends. It's in the way the wind catches your hair...or the way the blooms tug at your feet.

And love is in these words right for each and all and every single one of you.

And on this attention to the love that is sometimes missed.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Gift to You..."Wanted: Writers, Artists, Musicians and other Mindful Wanderers.."

“Like a gift, beautifully wrapped at the foot of your bed each morning, today asks that you open it and enjoy everything inside. Exhaust yourself with all it has to offer!” ~ Steve Maraboli

And, finally... my gift to all of you...who have come here each day to offer me a little love, and to share your light.

I have created a space that is just for you...I'm calling it "Your Mindful Musings".

This is your space…carefully crafted with all of my love, and specifically for you to go…do…and create.
And, without having to worry over hosting fees, technologies…or any other such suchness that might keep you from sharing your love with this world.

And, I will be here to help you along your way…just as elephant journal shared their love with me. They were their to hold my hand, and offer unconditional love, guidance and support. But most importantly, they ‘held the curtain back’ for me…and helped me to find my voice in this world.

This is my dream, to offer the same to you…my most beautiful friends, who have supported me with each and every single word.

I love you all. Now go…do…create.

Just send a quick note to ~ indicating that you would like your own ‘contributor’ account. I’ll set you up just as soon as my fingers reach a keyboard. I’ll also show you around, and offer my guidance in all of your creative efforts.

Not quite ready to post your own fabulous musings…art…music? Need a little inspiration? Or, do you just want to hook up with other amazing, super creative folks for a little nudge…some much need feedback…or just to say, “hello?’

That’s ok, too ~ this is a community, and we are all very much ‘family’ here. And, I have made a space for you, too.

It’s called “Create Space” – a little something I threw together, taking the best parts of Facebook and Google+ and all molded into one (and without Big Brother watching you!)
Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 10.59.28 PM
The Creating Space gives you the ability to:
  • Share photos, videos, music;
  • Blog, ask questions, get feedback on your ‘stuff’;
  • Set up your own groups, and invite friends to co-create;
  • Comment, tag, rate any kind of creative content;
  • Collaborate, share, and even video chat!
  • Personalize your profile, and set security the way you want it;
  • … and much much more.
Why am I doing this?

Because, I am so grateful to all of you…who have been there each day to read over my early morning musings.

You’ve been most awesome ~ and I love you all. And, I guess this…is the legacy of all the love that we’ve created.

So this is my gift to all of you, who have come faithfully here each day to bring my heart a smile ~ “may this gift "be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.”


~ Tara Lemieux

Wanted: Writers, Artists, Musicians and other Mindful Wanderers..

The Creating Space Sangha: A Community For All to Live, Learn, Grow and Share.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to Create.


“One of the strangest things is the act of creation.

You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.

You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.

And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.

It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.

You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.

You have glimpsed the divine.” ~ Vera Nazarian

Nearly every day I am asked, "How do you do what you do you create?"

I create from the deepest part of my most human soul...the me that is so very much me

I create each morning as I sit in my garden, and watch the dew form along the leaves.

And when the evening sun tips its hat to say, 'Good night' ~ in that moment, I am creating, too.

In everything I touch, feel, sense and gentle muse stands with me, too.

It's who I am in every waking moment of my day.

To create is one of the deepest yearning of the human spirit ~ and when denied, this 'breath of life' slips away.

Creating isn't something we do, rather...creating is our truest sense of being.

Namaste my most beautiful friends...and just for today, create.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What They Don't Teach You in School.

“I've been making a list of the things they don't teach you at school. They don't teach you how to love somebody. They don't teach you how to be famous. They don't teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer. They don't teach you how to know what's going on in someone else's mind. They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying. They don't teach you anything worth knowing.” ~ Neil Gaiman

I really love this quote, by author Neil Gaiman ~ a little something on life and of living.

It reminds me of a Buddhist story, the one in which an mad elephant charges wildly through a crowded street, forcing all in its path to flee in terror.

But, the Buddha remained ~ sitting quietly, waiting.

And when this mad elephant turned all of its massive rage towards Buddha ~ the Buddha sat peacefully in meditation...smiling, and calling the elephant nearer.

The elephant, was so overcome by the Buddha’s radiant kindness, that he knelt before him - bowing his head in a most gentle reverence. In this moment, violent rage is overcome by tenderness.

Spoiler alert ~ the story isn't really about a charging elephant, at all...rather, this story is about how we may free ourselves from personal suffering by simply changing our 'view' of this world.

And that, my dears, is a little something they don't teach you in school ~ to feel peace in each moment, whether there are charging elephants or too many hours spent inside the four walls of a very drab doctors waiting room.

Our happiness and bliss is always something we control.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...

Dying to Be Me (Event).

All, if you've not yet read this most wonderful must.

The story is phenomenal ~ showing the critical importance of spirit as it relates to healing. I had the good fortune of reading this book just at that point in my life when my physical body was beginning its decline, and my spirit felt overwhelmed...alone...and somewhat broken, on the inside.

Her words really transformed my way of looking at myself through this illness.

I am so excited to join in on this most amazing event ~ I hope that you may 'join' met, too. 

Namaste, and much love this day...
Dying to Be Me: The Power of Transformation
Four-Lesson Course with Anita Moorjani
July 11 - August 1, 2013, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm, Pacific Time

REGISTER NOW for only $50!

Special Offer for Participants of this course: Save 50% off Anita's book, Dying To Be Me when you purchase this Live Online Event.*

*Participants will receive a separate e-mail with details about this offer after purchase of the Live Online Event.

Be inspired by this brand-new Live Online Course with New York Times best-selling author Anita Moorjani, as she delves deeper into the four most powerful transformational lessons she learned from her near-death experience. Anita’s strength is found in her unique ability to share and express the concepts she gleaned from her experience in a practical and down-to-earth way that resonates with anyone seeking to transform their life.

The teachings in these profound and healing lessons will provide you with the ability to look deep within and bring transformation to every aspect of your life. Anita will help you discover the importance of loving yourself and transforming your fears, and will teach you how to bring a piece of heaven into your everyday life.

Anita will also be taking your calls and answering your questions each week, so be sure to tune in live at 4pm Pacific and 7pm Eastern.

Lesson 1: The Importance of Loving Yourself Unconditionally
July 11, 2013, 4:00 pm –5:30 pm, Pacific / 7:00 pm–8:30 pm, Eastern
Learning how to love herself was the most important lesson Anita learned from nearly dying, and was key in saving her life from end stage cancer. Anita will talk about self love, and how we have misconstrued it as a culture. She will also speak in more detail about practical ways you can learn to love yourself unconditionally, and why it is so important to do so.

Lesson 2: Living Fearlessly
July 18, 2013, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, Pacific / 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Eastern
Loving yourself removes fear and doubt from your daily life, as fear and love cannot exist together. This session will be about how you can transcend your fearful thoughts so that fear is no longer the driving force behind all the decisions you make in your life. Anita will give you practical tips on how to become more aware of your fears, and in doing so, you will see improvements not only in your health, but everything else in your life, including your relationships.

Lesson 3: Realizing that Life is a Gift
July 25, 2013, 4:00 pm –5:30 pm, Pacific / 7:00 pm–8:30 pm, Eastern
Anita will talk about how to value life, and see the gift in even the most challenging situations, and learn how to surrender and trust in the moment. She will also help you to learn how to uncover the gift that is found in painful situations, and how to deal with the process of going through pain and fear. She will also speak about the importance of trusting your own instincts, especially during those times when you feel pain, fear and confusion, and how to access this part of yourself.

Lesson 4: Being Myself
Aug 1, 2013, 4:00 pm –5:30 pm, Pacific / 7:00 pm–8:30 pm, Eastern
In this session, Anita teaches that as we become aware of our greatness (or our magnificence) instead of our inadequacies, it allows us to be who we are – that is, to be who nature intended us to be. In realizing the importance of expressing our own truth, we free ourselves from trying to be or do what society expects of us, and we free ourselves from the perception of failing when we don’t live up to other people’s expectations. This also allows us to surrender and relax into our own truth with full acceptance. In this session, Anita will speak about how to just celebrate being ourselves, and the importance of being versus doing. She will also speak about how to shift from a state of “pursuing” what you believe is your purpose, to a state of “allowing” your purpose to unfold before you.

If you can’t make the live airdates, you can still join Anita!
For your convenience, all participants automatically receive downloadable mp3s of all 4 lessons. Each lesson will be uploaded into your account within a few days of its live airdate and will then be available with unlimited On-Demand access! Hay House will send you a notification email when each lesson is available to download from your account. So you can still take the course no matter what your schedule! (Please note: All Live Online Event purchases are non-refundable.)
Click here to view complete details.
July 11 - August 1, 2013, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm, Pacific Time Price: $75 • Discounted Price: $50
Sign up today to listen live or on demand!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Little More Loving-Kindess.

"Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out." ~ Roger Ebert

Indeed, we must all try to contribute a little joy and loving-kindness to this I believe, this world so very much needs our love.

And kindness, my the gift that's always free...

Namaste, and much love this day... 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Love is...

Love ~ John Lennon

Love is real, real is love
Love is feeling, feeling love
Love is wanting to be loved

Love is touch, touch is love
Love is reaching, reaching love
Love is asking to be loved

Love is you
You and me
Love is knowing
We can be

Love is free, free is love
Love is living, living love
Love is needing to be loved 

Video: John Lennon Sings, "Love"

Why We Do What We Do. {Video}

“It is your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.” ― Anthony Robbins 

Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that make us do what we do -- and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

Your Most Amazing Quote of the Day. (Pema)

"The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes." ~ Pema Chodron

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Meaning of the Flower Sermon.

I was sitting in my garden today, sipping sweet tea and letting my mind just be free

And as I looked out onto the different flower blooms, admiring each leaf and each petal...this most beautiful calm settled in. It reminded me of a story I had once heard ~ about how the truest nature and beauty can be often effected without words.

Sometimes, there are just no words ~ and yet, the meaning is transcribed still so completely.

This is the feeling I enjoyed while sipping sweet tea in my garden.

This is the story of the Flower Sermon, and today, I most wanted to share it with you:

One day, Śākyamuni Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) transmits direct prajñā (wisdom) to the disciple Mahākāśyapa.

In the original Sino-Japanese, the story is called nengemishō 拈花微笑, which means literally "pick up flower, subtle smile".

And, I happen to like this title quite a lot.

In the story, Śākyamuni gives a wordless sermon to his disciples by gently holding up a most beautiful pure white flower.

No one in the audience understands except for Mahākāśyapa, who smiles.

Within Zen, this story communicates the ineffable nature of tathātā (suchness) and Mahākāśyapa's smile signifies the direct transmission of wisdom without words.

It's simple, and loving...and so very true. That there is this nature to communication that surpasses all that we may know and understand.

Sometimes, all that we hold in our hearts is too great to be limited by words....

In which case, we must learn to communicate simply through our being.

That's why I love this story so very much, and it's why in sitting in my garden I thought of it today.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends.

Take Time to Breathe (Author: Lori Deschene)

This article is just too beautiful not to share...from author Lori Deschene, and reprinted from Tiny Buddha)

Just Breathe By

“Our way to practice is one step at a time, one breath at a time.” -Shunryu Suzuki

When I was younger I frequently had mini panic attacks and feared that I might suffocate. It literally felt difficult to catch my breath; it almost felt like I was being smothered.

When I felt this type of anxiety, people often told me, “Just breathe.” But that was the problem—it didn’t feel like I could. The missing piece of their advice was how.

When we’re feeling frustrated, or panicked, or stressed, or scared, we tend to breathe rapid, shallow breaths, allowing minimal air to our lungs.

This can actually lead to a number of physical problems, including dizziness, headaches, chronic fatigue, heart palpitations, headaches, high blood pressure, and numbness.

So on top of the difficult emotions we may experience, we then create short-term and long-term physical problems by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to our brains.

The alternative: Take deep, slow, mindful breaths through the nose. Then hold the breath briefly before exhaling for twice as long as the inhalation.

Not only does this help us release tension and reduce anxiety; it also provides a solid internal focus to help ground us when we may feel overwhelmed by external circumstances.

That’s what it means to just breathe: to just breathe. To concentrate solely on the experience of nourishing our bodies with air and in doing so foster a deep sense of internal safety.

This reminds us that no matter how catastrophic things may seem, we’re alive. We’re okay. We’ll get through it. We are still here, still strong, still breathing.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that needs to be done, and take it all one slow step and deep breath at time.

If you’re feeling worried, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that might go wrong and create what can go right, one slow step and deep breath at a time.

If you’re feeling scared, just breathe. Forget for a minute about everything that might hurt you and take care of yourself, one slow step and deep breath at a time.

Oftentimes the world inside our heads is far more chaotic than the world outside it. We have immense power to calm it by remembering to just breathe.

The Thing That Matters Most (You).

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

I love this quote, by author, poet and most beautiful light of this universe, Maya Angelou.

I like it because it sums up so completely how I have always felt about life and about being.

Even as a little girl, when all others around me were planning out their 'what do I wish to be in this world's ~ I remember sitting carefully and wondering with all of my 8-year-old capacity..."yes, but isn't there something more?"

Indeed, there is much more to this life ~ more than status, by-lines, money will every's the legacy that matters most of all...and that legacy, my dears, is you.

It's that one moment that you smile to a stranger - never knowing the depth of this person's most recent loss.

It's in the softness of your voice when you say, 'that's ok, keep trying..we'll get this...just watch' - never knowing the person with who you are speaking, almost nearly just gave up...

It's in the life that we share...our hearts...spirits...souls....

It's in the kindness that we give each day...unconditionally.

It's in the way that you are right here...for me now...and reading just this.

My dears, may we all step into this world each day....ever-mindful of the greater importance of our presence here...

Because, my most beautiful friends...there is something much more.

The mud is this earth, my are...are it's flower.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Gratitude...Your Word for this Day.

Pre-decaf and very early horse friends always greet me here.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”  ― Melody Beattie 
Gratitude always finds me this field of sweet grass, and morning dew...

And, in the soft soulful eyes of my most dearest horse friends, who'll nuzzle their heads, a little closer still...and simply to say, 'hello.'

Gratitude always finds me here...with pant legs soaked, from the trail's trek in...and a heart that is spilling over with dreams...

And, always, it seems on those days when the weight of this world has done its very best to bring me down...

But, not ever for very long...because, you see, my dears...the morning always comes again...

And, rest assured, gratitude will always find you there...

Namaste, my *most* beautiful, I am grateful because of you.

Gratitude: Louie Schwartzberg

Friday, July 5, 2013

You Are...

 “If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible.” ~ Paulo Coelho
 My most beautiful friends...

I must apologize, as I have had a rather rough couple of days ~ the result of taking on far too much, too soon and without those much needed moments to to breathe.

I was exhausted in every aspect of my life and my being.

My spirit cried for a full two days ~ as I stayed, tucked safely away from this new battlefield that life created for me.

In these moments, it's so very easy to believe that our dreams have all but slipped away...

But, my dears, our dreams are only ever as far as our hearts will allow them to be.

And all that we must ever really simply just believe.

I had almost allowed my pain to take me away from that one thing that matter most of all...

So, my most beautiful friends...on this day, I choose to dream once again...

And, next time...when the rain comes...I shall see renewal.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...always remember, "you are the atmosphere of beauty through which I see life."

Poem, Who Are Your Really?

“you are not a name
or a height, or a weight
or a gender
you are not an age
and you are not where you are from

you are your favorite books
and the songs stuck in your head
you are your thoughts
and what you eat for breakfast
on Saturday mornings

you are a thousand things
but everyone chooses
to see the million things
you are not

you are not
where you are from
you are
where you are going
and i'd like
to go there

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Greatest Speech Ever Made ~ and With a Little Modern Twist.

"You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure." ~ Charlie Chaplin

I have always loved Charlie Chaplin – for his brilliant wit, and for his most gentle soul.

Oh, and that smile ~ with enough loveliness to light up this world.

In his most brilliant 1940 film, The Great Dictator, Chaplin takes aim at Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and the Nazi party...openly mocking them as, ""machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts".

Interestingly enough, for a man who built his career in the silent movie era - this was his first true 'talking film.'

And oh, just look at what he had to say.

Charlie Chaplin's epic speech, with just a splash of modern imagery. I was absolutely transfixed by this new rendition of this old classic.

Namaste, and much love this day...

 Song: Window by The Album Leaf

What Inspires You?

The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

I read the most beautiful thought online this morning, and one that has left me ponder-wandering through my first cup of decaf.

The question was quite simple, "What is the most inspiring sentence you've ever read?"

And just like that, my mind was on fire...thinking through the many years of beautiful words that have been strung together in such a way as to form the most inspirational thought I had ever heard.

I thought of my challenges over this past year, and my health, most specifically...which brought to mind, that "the darkest nights produce the brightest stars..."

I contemplated Camus' "in the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love."

I thought of those immortal words of Steve Jobs who believed with all of his being that the misfits, rebels and troublemakers of this world...are the ones who'll inevitably change this world.

I think of my dearest friend who sat with me each day just to say these words, "you are beautiful"...because, one day...I 'woke up' and finally believed him.

I think of my most beautiful children, and the many times they've said to me, "Mommy...I love you..."

But, I suppose the most inspirational sentence I have ever heard in my life consists of one simple word, "believe"...because, in that one word...all things are possible.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...and I'm curious to know what sentence most inspires you on this day?