Thursday, October 31, 2013

Finding Peace in Life's Shakiness and Why Yoga is for Everyone.



“Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and perceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become. ” ― Brooke Foss Westcott
 I felt sick during my yoga practice the other day. Well, not so much sick, but, rather perhaps ...overwhelmed.

You see, I have a debilitating neurological disorder, one that causes me great pain ~ and, among other things, quite a bit of wobbling unsteadiness throughout my day. I was drawn to yoga, in part, to help alleviate the manifestation of these issues. But, perhaps more importantly, to help maintain a strong sense of 'inner balance.'

Most of the time, I'm very much at peace with my body...understanding full well how limitations can lead often to our greatest introspection. 

But, on this night...I must admit...I was experiencing one heck of a spiritual challenge.


Today, I entered my practice with optimism…determined to find grace in my movement through the positions.

Oh, but that mirror – that stupid, full length, wall-to-wall mirror. There’s no hiding from one’s true reflection, is there?

And, as my body started to wobble, and my hands jittered out of control… my mind snickered,

“Oh yeah? And, just what do you think you’re doing here?” 
My dears, the mind can be a fabulous partner on our spiritual journey. Likewise, it can often become our stinkiest, and most horribly competitive, of 'friends.'

And tonight? My mind's sharp words nearly shattered me.

I felt so out of place – like a stranger standing out in a far off land. How did this happen?

And, just like that, I started to cry.

My yoga teacher, without ever missing a beat, reached out to steady my hand and offer her ‘correction’ (Yoga teachers, I have learned, love correcting things - I swear they must've been elementary school teachers in a former life).

I thought maybe she was just being kind, trying to offer a little nudge of support. But, it turns out she was there for so much more.

Just then, she said something I will never forget – almost as if the universe was speaking through her.

I know…hippie weirdness. But, it’s true.

She said,
“I know you’re upset, but you have to keep pushing through. Turn off your brain, and just move. And, whatever you think you’re seeing as ‘weakness’, is actually a testimony to your own personal strength.

For every moment you felt you couldn't, but did anyway.

For every night you cried yourself to sleep, and yet still woke up with gratitude.

And for every instance you felt yourself lost, but helped someone else find their way…that is what all of this wobbling means.”
Amazing how just a few words delivered at just the right moment have the power to transform the complexity of our being.

So, I think tonight I finally made friends with that mirror ~ and, found peace inside the shakier part of my spirit.

You know, I used to think that Yoga was only for the strong, beautiful girls – with tightly toned bodies, and graceful, unencumbered movement.

But, now that I think of  – it's more so for people like me.

Namaste and many blessings my friends - and may we always be open to these moments of introspection.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Gift From Alice.


“If we thought of life as a gift, we might not demand nearly as much from it. And if we lived more graciously, giving of ourselves more freely to the well-being of others, many of our personal concerns would disappear, and life would become easier for all.”
~ Lowell C. Bennion
I've posted this once or twice before, and always at a point in my life when I have felt I need it most.

And, in order to share that which causes my heart to smile so completely - with those I have grown to most love.

My dears, this is, perhaps, our most important lesson - that, no matter what the challenge or circumstances...in the end, we choose the world that surrounds us all.


At age 108, Holocaust survivor Alice Herz Sommer still practices piano for 3 hours every day. At age 104, she had a book written about her life: "A Garden Of Eden In Hell." At age 83, she had cancer. Alice survived the concentration camps through her music, her optimism and her gratitude for the small things that came her way - a smile, a kind word, the sun. When asked about the secret of her longevity, Alice says: "I look where it is good." - See more at: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=3008#sthash.coEJy4oV.dpuf
Much love, my dears ~ and I do hope you'll enjoy.


The Lady in Number 6 is one of the most inspirational stories ever told. 109 year old, Alice Herz Sommer, the world's oldest pianist and oldest holocaust survivor, shares her views on how to live a long happy life. She discusses the vital importance of music, laughter and having an optimistic outlook on life.

"Every day in life is beautiful," Herz-Sommer says. "Every day. It's beautiful."
Despite everything she's been through, this most beautiful spirit insists that she holds no hate for those who've caused such pain,

"I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times -- including my husband, my mother and my beloved son...yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate.”
This powerfully inspirational video tells her amazing story of survival and how she managed to use her time in a Nazi concentration camp to empower herself and others with music.

See the entire documentary at: https://twitter.com/AliceTheFilm


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.

Photo: Hopes and Dreams by 

“That's the good part of dying; when you've nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.” ~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


I was having quite the conversation yesterday, with a friend and on the topic of truly being happy. We talked over a few stories of those few brave souls, who...after having given up all that they worked for all of their lives... were suddenly now so profoundly happy. 


They walked away from the wealth, the fame...the success - and into the 'great unknown' with only the heart to serve as a compass for their soul. 


You wouldn't expect to hear 'and they lived happily ever after' at this point in the story line - but there you go, there it is. Happiness, they realized wasn't something to be acquired - it was something, each day, to be lived

And so they lived, and in their living - they found bliss.

I don't normally reprint, but this one...really spoke to me. It's an article by author, Bronnie Ware, entitled, "Regrets of the Dying." 


Here's what she had to say. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Regrets of the Dying
Bronnie Ware


"For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:


1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.


2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.


3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.


4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.


Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness."




~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Based on this article, Bronnie has now released a full length book titled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed through the regrets of the dying people she cared for. This inspiring book is available internationally through Hay House.

Learning to Love Them Anyway.

"Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go, and the power of moving on." ~ Steve Maroboli
I was thinking over a few things this morning, as I often do each day and while watching the sunrise. For me, this is my time for peaceful introspection - and pondering over those things which sometimes get in the way.

I had been reading a story, you see - about a young Mother who lost her only son to gang violence. Shot down in the dead of night, he took his last breath along a cold empty street - and clutching the small package his Mother sent him to retrieve.

The boy who took his life, was just 14 at the time - and had never once known the true power of love. Born to drug addicted parents, and raised in an environment not suitable for life and living...he took to the streets, believing this to be the only place he belonged.

Imagine being just 14 and having such thoughts? That your life, wasn't of value - and that love, wasn't something for you to know. And on that night, he pulled the trigger to prove he was a man.

The boy was later convicted of his crimes, and incarcerated.

In time, the Mother joined a victim's support group - which would bring her once again before her son's killer. In the days leading up to their meeting, loss filled the grief-stricken Mother's mind with rage; and her blood boiled with hate...thinking over they many things she wished him to feel.

But, on the day of her visit something happened - she learned through the prison guards that not one person had visited the boy. He had been there, alone, for nearly a year - without so much as a call.

And, as she sat before this young man - she realized, that this was a child that had never known joy of a Mother's love.

If I told you what happened next, I don't know that you would fully believe me - but the Mother began to visit the boy each day, carrying with her this hope that, in time, perhaps two hearts might be healed.

And, in one of the most beautiful expressions of compassion and forgiveness - in the end, this Mother adopted that boy.

In doing so, she gave the gift of a Mother's love to a boy...and in return, she regained her own inner peace.

My dears, there's a most beautiful grace to letting go...and an even greater power to moving on. Truth be told, I think sometimes we've got it all wrong - thinking we must heal first in order to forgive...


But, what if, the truest healing comes by way of compassion?

And, perhaps in forgiving others we are giving to ourselves?

Just a little something to consider...

My dears, if I may leave you with this - a gentle reminder for all of your tomorrows, that we may always find a way...to love, in spite of everything.

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
 







Monday, October 28, 2013

So Beautiful, It *Must* Be Shared.



“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar 

What a most beautifully inspiring...and touching video.

Isn't it remarkable how something so simple, can strike so deeply our hearts... and within just one moment?

One of the final performances by Attraction, a shadow dance troupe - telling the story of the loss of a mother; you'll be so grateful for your own family after having watched this.



Who Were You Before the World Told You Differently?



I remember the day so clearly - one that I had long anticipated in my 8 very short years on this big spinning planet. It was the day in which my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Mowry, would be asking us all that one...most important question.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

We were each provided a small piece of construction paper, upon which to scrawl the fullness of our life's goals. And, while everyone else was already busy happily drawing pictures to accompany their dreams ~ I was still very much in the process of reflection.

I was a bit of an odd child growing up ~ as many of you have already come to understand. Thankfully, my parents and by the gift of all heavens, indulged my each and every odd-ball whim - helping to carefully shape the 'me' that I am today.

But, on this day ~ my parents weren't there to help guide my way through. On this day, I was left very much alone.

And, I was...so very completely....absolutely...and frighteningly...stuck.

"How do I fit this all on one page?" I asked my teacher, who watched in amusement as I painstakingly attempted to fill each open space with the tiniest of print.

In one corner, I had printed 'actress' - and in the other, 'dancer.' To the left, and just shy of center...I wrote in a slightly embellished cursive, 'doctor.'

And in one perfectly formed arc against the top-most edge, and demonstrating not the very best of print-planning - I had written 'veterinarian.'

You see, my dears, I wanted to be all of those things.

And, I really believed I could, until...my teacher, who had been watching this matter unfold, disapprovingly scowled, "My dear, you can't possibly be all of those things."

In one single moment, my spirit was crushed.

It took some years, and many wonderful moments with mentors and guides along the way - to finally right, this horrible wrong. To recalibrate my vision to include possibility.

Because...my dears, no matter what, possibility always gets us through.

And so, today, and in memory of all of those many moments past - in which, our view of this world was displaced by the thoughtlessness of someone else's vision....I want you to take a minute to pause and reflect on this one simple question,

"Do you remember who you were, before the world convinced you otherwise?"

Because, this week we shall be working towards manifesting this...the truest essence of you, and the you...you were most meant to be.

Much love, and many blessings, my dears... and I shall be eager to hear your stories today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mindfully Musing: My First Video :)





My first video!! :)

Daring to Be.


“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.”  ~ May Sarton
I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned, but my Father was a World War II combat veteran.

At just 18 years old, he volunteered to join his brothers to fight for those whose hearts could not be heard. Facing heavy fire each day, and under conditions so excruciatingly painful, he charged forward grasping only to the ideals of this....our one human family.

As a veteran, myself, I know only too well the horrors of war - as I watched those, once vibrant with life, coming back a broken spiritual shell of their once former self.

Reaching out into their emptiness, I was left often wondering - what is it that does the real breaking?

For so many of us, we enter life with a feeling of such fearlessness. But can one be truly fearless...crouched, crumbling, in the deepest corner of newly dug foxhole?

So often I watched in helplessness, wishing only to undo the devastation of battle. To right fully the wrongs of war, and to restore their brilliance of spirit.

But, it wasn't their spirit that needed fixing. As I found this out myself, so many years later - and stuck inside a relationship that was slowly poisoning me...causing me to question my very own being.

My whole heart was caving in, because I couldn't see past someone elses' expectations.

In the end, I was responsible for my own breaking.

It was then that I realized, perhaps...it's more of what we carry into these scenes that causes our hearts the greatest of burdens. Holding so sternly to this image of self, that we've left no space for the 'just simply being?'

My dears, life can not ever be planned - it just is.

And all that you are, and everything you might ever become - changes with each and every single reflection.

And when we dare to be, all that we most wish to be...we are able to become the one we most love.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...and may I always leave you with a little something to consider.


Dare to Be

When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.

When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.

When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.

When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.

When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.

When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.

When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.

When times are tough, dare to be tougher.

When love hurts you, dare to love again.

When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.

When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.

When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.

When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.

When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.

When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.

Dare to be the best you can –

At all times, Dare to be!”

Friday, October 25, 2013

One Reason Why You Should Never Give Up On Your Dreams.


“There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
“I feel this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong.”
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you–just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.”

Shel Silverstein

I don’t know what made me think back to this most brilliant passage. Some things in life I suppose just ‘stick’ a little more so than the others—and always, it seems, for a most compelling reason.
We all have this voice within us. It calls out to us in the middle of our longest night, urging us to take that ‘just one more next step forward.’

And, this voice…is our greatest gift, and most treasured friend—compelling us onward, even when the hope inside subsides.

It is an irrepressible, indomitable force—connecting our will to those dreams that remain still inside.
And in spite of all our fears and notions of doom and failure….still we must listen, we must listen to that ‘voice’ inside.

A dear friend shared this with me this morning, and I wanted so very much to share it with all of you:
“Having a dream is awesome.
Having a dream and showing up every day, even when nothing seems to be happening, is priceless.
But having a dream and showing up every day, while sauntering, winking, and hugging everyone, is when the floodgates begin to tremble.”
So, today, my most beautiful friends—I shall be listening closely to that most amazing voice that speaks inside.

I pray that you are listening, too.

And that, my dears, is the one reason why one should never give up on their dreams—because, no dream is ever too big to silence that inner voice we all have inside.

Much love, and namaste.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What If Renoir Had Listened?

"Romain Lacaux", 1864 - Pierre Auguste Renoir
“He has no talent at all, that boy! You, who are his friend, tell him, please, to give up painting." ~ Édouard Manet speaking to Claude Monet, on Renoir's incompetency.

When I was a little girl, my Mother used to take us each weekend to the Cleveland Art Museum. You see, she was an artist who wanted so very much to share with us her life's inspiration. Sundays were always a day of rushed anticipation, stopping off just long enough to pick up my Grandfather - the Museum gardens, it seems, proved a fine place for a gentleman to enjoy his cigar, uninterrupted. Swisher Sweets were always his favorite.

In contrast, the stone marble hallways felt cold and uninviting to a child of my age. At just seven years old, I hadn't yet understood the fuss - particularly, as I was constantly being hushed.

sigh...who brings a child to a SHOOSHING place?

In time, I grew to hate these outings - the bother of giving up my Sunday outside time, was just too much to ask of one little girl. Forced against all will, I gave quite the fight - foot dragging, and perfectly timed shrilly whines were my specialty.

Oh...and didn't I make sure my disapproving scowl was fully visible inside my Mother's rear view mirror?

How could I have ever possibly known then, just how very much this time would mean to me now?

To offset my upset, I used to race between the exhibit rooms - my shoes clomp-clomp stomping about in an unbridled protest against the Museum's stifling decorum...my Mother's "Just you wait .." glare having no impact on the 'little stinker' part of my soul.

And then one Sunday, during my customary game of 'chase tag', it happened...I ran smack sharply into the grimacing growl of a rather large Museum Security Guard man. 

"Doomed...," I thought to myself...imagining a life looking outwards through the confinement of my bedroom and watching others at play.

I was too terrified to look up. Instead... I stared flatly to the floor, taking in the pattern of scuff marks along the sides of my well worn Hush Puppy shoes. I thought I was done for sure - my face growing hot under the exertion of keeping all those 'big tears' inside.

"She's watching you," he said...kneeling down, smiling and pointing to a painting of a little girl on the wall. And then, he winked and walked away.

He was pointing to Renoir's painting, "Romain Lacaux" - a little girl, just like me, but with details so brilliantly painted that she nearly came to life on that canvas.

And her eyes...they really did follow me....as I watched, transfixed, and testing the view from every room angle.

From that moment on, I couldn't wait to get to the Museum on Sundays...knowing that I had a 'new friend' waiting to watch me play.

Isn't it amazing how quickly magic can be pulled from dread?

Each week, the Museum guard watched me standing before that painting - watching...wondering. Through the weeks, he took my hand, so to speak, to share with me the magic contained within all of the other pieces of art.

Why, did you know Monet was nearly blind when he painted his "Waterlillies"?

(whisper) "That's what makes it so beautiful..."

And, the Knights in Shining Armor? Not so very tall, at all...

In time, the Museum became a place I very much adored - with never enough time to learn all of its secrets. I grew up in those exhibit halls, taking in the beauty that suddenly surrounded me - wanting so very much to learn of Creativity's inspiration.

I think that's what my Mother wanted all along.

And, the little girl on the wall? She's still there, to this day - making friends with all the other little girls stomping through the halls.

And, I? I am so ever grateful to her for sharing this gift of perspective with me. As, I think perhaps, this may have been the very beginning of my 'creative lifestyle.'

It wasn't until years later that I learned, that Renoir was greatly discouraged from painting - considered, not nearly 'good enough' to keep up with the counterparts of his day.

Imagine, if Renoir would have listened...what a shame that would have been.

Why, a little girl might not ever have been stopped - just long enough for imagination to find her here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Little Something on Being Brave.

“Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it.”  ~ C. JoyBell C.

Two nurses at a Minnesota children's hospital had a most wonderful idea. They wanted to make a video featuring their patients, something fun to look back on, when cancer is hopefully just a memory.

The video has since gone viral, and rightfully so—as it shares with us a much needed reminder on what bravery really means.

And, it's not always what you think—as the roots of courage are born deeply within a joy-filled spirit.
May we always honor those whose hearts help us when we need it most.

And, I promise that you will absolutely *love* this video ~

Bonus Video: Brave at U of M Amplatz Children's Hospital


No Feeling is Ever Final.


"Let everything happen to you 
Beauty and terror 
Just keep going 
No feeling is final."


I'm fighting just a bit of a cold today ~ a subtle reminder that these seasons are forever changing.

And, as unsettling as it may seem, at times -  even a sniffly nose and scratchy throat may serve to remind us that we are, indeed, awake.

Certainly, this cough interrupts my ramblings, but only for a moment and just to say,
"Hey, you...remember, you're human. And, it's ok to take a break."
My dears, when we're able to approach life openly and with this level of care - we begin to realize, that all things - including our most annoying of neighbors - well, they all have something to share. And, when you think of it in this way - why, even the worst of it all takes on a profoundly new meaning.

When we can look past our immediate reaction, and through the complicated web work of our emotions, we'll find it - the answer to who we really are...

It's what we've been looking for, all along. And yes, sometimes these insights may come by way of a rather bothersome little cough...

But, in order to see, there's a choice to be made ~ do we open up and listen?

Or, forever turn away?

My dears, which to you choose today? Today, I choose - to stay.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's Keeping You From Being Free?



“The day I understood everything, was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out. The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go.” ~ C. JoyBell C.

Why are we so afraid to let go of those things we can not change? To feel the joy of a heart, unburdened and a spirit that has been suddenly freed?

My dears, the other I found myself sitting alone, once again, inside my doctor's waiting room. Truth be told, over this past year - I've spent far more than my fair share, siting in this very same, horribly uncomfortable, office chair.

And, I could count the many times I let my own mind slip deeply into that well of endless wonderings on...

What do I do...? How will things change...? Will I ever find my way...?

You see, this well of wondering goes on and on...it never stops...taking with it all and every single moment of our every day, pulling us away from those things that matter most of all.

It's interesting, isn't it - how easily we are distracted? How quickly our minds spin together the details of a story that's no where close to being done...and in that split-second moment when our 'knowing' is gone.

In doing so, we become the only obstacle to our very own 'moving on'...and yet, we tend to blame our 'stuck' on so many other things.

If only, we could just learn to get out of our own way. To relinquish our stories, and let go of this incessant chattering on - to allow ourselves the simple freedom of living precisely in this moment right here.

Free from the upset...

Free from the unsettledness...

Free from the worry and the grief.

With just only enough space to breathe...

Just imagine, what a wonderful world this might be.


So, my dears, let me ask you - what is it that's keeping you from being free?


Monday, October 21, 2013

When One Human Life is Missed.

 
“In today's disposable culture, we throw away people like we do razors.” ~ Kelly Cutrone
This morning I read a tragic story about a young girl, who after having given birth, immediately asphyxiated her infant with the intent of 'throwing it away.' She was later found, wandering about with the dead child inside of her bag - oblivious to the loss of a life just begun.

I had to stop to re-read that text, and several times over again, as... in my heart I just couldn't understand the level of heartlessness in this act. How can any human life be so simply tossed away?

And yet, isn't this the sort of thing that happens each and every day? As we numb our senses to those in need, to our neighbors and our friends...assuming someone else, better suited to serve, will soon be on their way.

Have we become so spiritually separate that we're unable to reach through our fear and to someone elses' pain? And, how could we ever just turn away?

My dears, I've always believed that we are all born with the same capacity ~ an often overwhelming desire to manifest our most unconditional love.

And yet, still...we pause....and, inside the pause we become...so hopelessly lost. 

Meanwhile, Humanity's light quickly fades...

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”~ Mother Teresa
My dears, the world we live in is the world we have chosen...through each hesitation and all the opportunities missed.

If we want to change this world, my friends...we must find a way to change our ways...

And to offer love, its rightful space.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ perhaps, we may be more mindful of these...the moments missed.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Meaning of "Tree."


“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” ― Dr. Seuss

Author, Ray Bradbury, once said that everyone must leave something behind - whether a simple garden out back that boasts the morning glories each day....or each of the stones, so painstakingly placed inside the wall that cradles the ivy...

Something, most beautiful always remains. Something we have touched in such a way that it leaves a place for our souls to go when we die.

And, isn't this the truest measure of our legacy? That so many years later, we might look to a tree and recall the day our father dug not one...not two...but, three separate holes so the little sapling might always be so perfectly placed.

Even after all these years, it's clear....he did it just for the smile on his little girl's face. 

We all have this legacy to share. An indelible piece of our spirit, that transcends all of time and place...and with just a simple touch of our 'hand.'

Everything matters, my dears...and nothing is ever missed. All that we are and do and think and believe, becomes an integral part of the foundation upon which Humanity's house may be built.

And yet, how often do we break away from the click-click-clacking of our keyboards, and in order to make a little difference? Have we perhaps forgotten the truest reason that brings us all together right here?

My dears, let me be clear...

You are not your FaceBook status, or that number on the scale.

You are not what your boss thinks of you on that odd day before yesterday. 

You are not any of the names gathered up through these years, and certainly not at all how you may think you appear.

Oh, but my dears...

You are the way the morning glories climb upon the wall...

You are the beautiful stones which gently cradle the ivy...

And, you are the happiness in a little girl's smile after her tree has been so carefully placed.

At least, that's what you mean to me....and on this day, today....you are my world.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ and may all of our 'trees' be placed just the right way.

p.s. - I think perhaps this is why I so very much love my trees...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Why I Love Fall.

Puppies love Fall, too.

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me....Fluttering from the autumn tree." ~ Emily Brontë

I love Fall...always have.

Something about it invigorates my senses, causing my spirit to lean forward in its proverbial 'chair'...watching with such wondering eyes what miracles might soon appear.

And as the wind hushes, begging the favor of silence - I know something magnificent is about to take place.

The only sound which remains, is a soft rustling in the 'wings' - as these young leaves wait so patiently for their performance to begin.

In a moment, these bold splashes of color, shall come together as part of Nature's greatest masterpiece - dancing graceful patterns at our feet, and across the 'stage' of this most beautiful Earth.

And making Fall my most favorite season, of all.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends...

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Magic Inside.




“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats
 
When I was a little girl, I saw a magician on the stage - and performing a variety of mystical matters, one of which convinced a man he was really a chicken.

And though, I was never the skeptical child - on this day, I recall thinking, "What a load of horse poo..."

Such is our belief sometimes in the magic of this world, that we may close our minds and scrinch our eyes tight to that which stands so clearly before us - and so very certain that our clever little minds could easily discern between the two.

How unwilling we are to believe in the power of these most subtle suggestions. Or, is it perhaps fear imposing an unsettled uncertainty that causes us to turn so quickly away.

And yet, we'll spend the last of our pennies on books which empower our own self-improvement.

Don't believe me?

Think of a moment in your life when someone called you a cruel name, or suggested you might not ever win. It's crushing to the spirit, now, isn't it?

I still remember the day my English teacher stood before the class, and sneered to me, "You will never be a writer...why not give up now while you're still ahead?" In that one instant, my belief in self almost nearly disappeared.

How very strange our mind is ~ that this mere suggestion might rip passion from its roots.

I've often wondered, how the direction of our lives has been forever changed by these such circumstances? How many opportunities won or lost...friendships born or crushed...moments cherished or denied...simply because we failed to see things properly?

And, how often have you believed the words of others over that of your own heart and soul?

Perhaps, there is some 'magic' in that chicken dance...that are lives can be transformed by a simple wave of the hand...

Or, maybe there's a little more to this 'magic' that we may have yet ever realized...

That the truest magic is inside...and truth be told, our brains will believe anything we do.

Namaste, and much love my most beautiful friends ~


Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Little Something On Being a Kid.

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them”  ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When I was kid, I used to climb so far up into the trees that the ground would blur from view.

And, on some days - I would set out on foot, deep into the farthest acreage of our woods...and COMPLETELY unattended... for the simple chance to catch a salamander by the tail.

When Saturday mornings were spent staring blindly, and ‘too close’ into the television—and with a half-eaten bowl of sugary cereal in our lap.

Oh, and how many days did I drive dirt so far up under my nails...that my Mother would question if my fingertips might ever see pink, once again. 

I tore up my pants, and scraped up both knees... ate things I shouldn't have, and rode my bike without ever thinking... that it's much too dangerous these days to be a kid.

But, these days? Being a kid has been legislated. And, by the very same government that had such a hard time coming to the middle-meeting point where justice had no place.

Today, I read an article about the United State Postal Service - an agency, which has faced the threat of imminent closure more times that my simple mind can remember. Some even say, the days of "neither snow nor rain...nor gloom of night" are quickly fading into obsolescence."

And, with a budget that is currently $4 billion in the red - perhaps, these folks are correct.

Nevertheless, I believe sometimes we tend to make much ado, about nothing.

In this case, the USPS was directed by the President's Council on Fitness to destroy stamps which depict kids being kids. Why? Because, the Government has deemed the activities represented on the stamps to be 'unsafe' for children.

According to the report,

"The “Just Move” collection of stamps were intended to promote the government’s “Let’s Move” campaign advocating physical fitness, a cause championed by first lady Michelle Obama.
But three of the 15 colorful stamps allegedly show behavior the White House deems unacceptable — skateboarding without knee pads, doing a ‘cannonball’ into a pool, and performing a handstand without a helmet."


I'm wondering what you might think? And, I do hope you'll not mind that I am posting what I feel to be a immediately relevant, and brilliantly mindful passage by Shel Silverstein... "I can not go to school today..."

Oh, when did these joyfilled childhood days slip away... ?



“I cannot go to school today"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry.
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox.

And there's one more - that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue,
It might be the instamatic flu.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke.
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in.

My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My toes are cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.

My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.

My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There's a hole inside my ear.

I have a hangnail, and my heart is ...
What? What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is .............. Saturday?

G'bye, I'm going out to play!”
Shel Silverstein

I Know How the Flowers Felt.

Last of the Summer Roses

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.” ~ Robert Frost
I love reading Robert Frost - his fanciful prose always taking me back to a time, most cherished...his words, bringing to life...so many memories, from a time, long since past.

Through his eyes, the well wintered paths came to life...as did the clink-clonk-clanking of the dinner bell my Mother used to call us back home, once again.

And, these days when I watch the flowers give way to the cold September days - I am reminded, of what the rain whispered to the wind;


My dears, isn't it amazing the impact a few simple words have on our soul? 

To upright the messiness of even the most unsettled of days...to mold mountains back into molehills, and bring the light back into our gaze? 

To create a 'just long enough' pause for much needed consideration and reflection...

And, just long enough for all the burdens of heart to be lifted...in the knowingness that life always carries on. 

Just imagine, the hue...of a whole new world coming into view...and through the course of just a few simple words. 

Maybe, this is why I do what I do....?

My dears, my most beautiful friends ~ perhaps , this is why I choose to share each day with you...

Namaste, and much love on this day...



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Watch Me Rise.


“….watch me rise like smoke from fire.

Watch me fly above your hate.

Watch me dance upon your meanness
like a ballerina with posture; grace.

Watch me laugh over your hatred;
watch me soar above your sea of grief.

And know that I am out there somewhere…

C R U S H I N G.” ~ Coco J. Ginger
I read a most beautiful article the other day; one that highlighted the achievements of a woman, humbled, and rising up against all odds.

I've always been drawn to these such stories, as evidenced by the many dog eared pages, scattered notebook scrawlings...and messages upon mirrors. My 'white space' knows no limitations - and, my life has been forever imprinted by the essence of their most simple words.

I like these stories because they always serve to remind me, that no matter what, there is always a way.

I think we all need to be reminded of this, and particularly on days when life seems intent on sending us straight back to bed.

Hey, we all have those days...right? And, yesterday....just happened to be one for me.

My dears, there are moments in life when we may feel quite humbled the limitations of our own spiritual 'tenacity' - discouraged by our inability to find our way through.

I've often wondered, if humbling was just the Universe's way of getting us to wake up and listen.

I certainly listened yesterday - when the thoughts disappear, it makes way for often the most beautiful reflection. A little space to create our own page where spirit may rise above conditions.

And, isn't that our truest brilliance?

My dears, today, I am compelled to share with you the story of Bessie Coleman - the first African American female pilot, and first of her race to hold an international pilot license.

The year was 1918 - not soon after the first flight at Kitty Hawk, but long before equality had taken its rightful roots. It was the wild exploits of soldiers returning home from World War 1 that first captured Bessie's interests. As a dreamer, and despite her background, she was compelled by adventure - wishing desperately to join the ranks of these most honorable men. But sadly, and in spite of her own best efforts - no flight school in the United States was willing to accept her.

But, rather than conceding to society's view of her place in this world - she instead, gathered the courage to create a vision that was entirely her own. 

She raised money that she didn't have...

Learned a language she didn't know...

And, made her way to the only flight school in the world that would allow her that one simple chance.

It was there, in June 1921....where the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her an international pilot's license and this magnificent, beaming light of courage took the skies in a whole new way.

Sometimes, we have to break the rules...and other times, we have to redefine them. But rest assured, and no matter what, there is always a away.

And so, on those days when life's challenges may prove a bit more daunting - I find my strength in these stories long past, and remind myself always to "think of Bessie."

You know, things aren't ever so hard when we've found the gift of perspective...

My dears, today may we all celebrate the dreamers...the believers...and those many risk takers...

For, it is on their spirit that our wings shall rest.

p.s. and by the way...my dears, just you watch me rise.... 

Namaste, my most beautiful friends... and never let these stories spill for your hands. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

My Simple Story.


My Notebook.
“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible” ― Vladimir Nabokov
I have a notebook that sits upon my shelf, worn and dusted through these many years. Unassuming in presentation, you might never expect the pages to be ripely filled with such magnificence.

Such is the case, when reality becomes shrouded by illusion - our minds whittling away, weaving stories of all that might have been...boldly seizing the pen, to rewrite its version of that which it believes to be true.

Inside these pages, folded neatly, a ticket stub from my very first ballet. It was Christmas, 1987, and the ticket was a gift to my Mother. In the 1950's, she had worked as a waitress, and just down the street from the Cleveland Playhouse theater. Her eyes would always pull into a smile as she recalled the moments of her 'memories past' - watching the women, dressed 'to the nines' in their ball gowns, and returning from a late night show. In those days, a theater such as this held no place for a simple diner waitress. But on this particular blustery, bitter winter's night - she and I would be taking in a show.

Another page frames the note from my Father, sent one Easter and while I was stationed so very far away. My Father wasn't ever one for letter writing, but on that day he was compelled to send me a short note, reading simply,
"I miss you, and wish you were here. It would have been a much better Easter."
It was by far the best note I have ever, in my life, received. Because, it was then that I realized just how widely a heart could be opened.

On the pages following are scattered 'snapshots' of my many Mommy memories - a taped sequin from my toddler daughter's favorite light-up shoes, and a broken piece of my son's Buzz Lightyear helmet.

And taped to another, and most certainly the reason why this book never quite closes...a half crushed peanut shell from a walkabout in the park with my very best spiritual friend.

I bet you never knew how very good squirrel feed was for one's soul?

It's so easy to get swept away in the trivial...the noise of our day can prove to be a noteworthy distraction.

My dears, there will always be those whose words might injure...dissuade...or otherwise pull you away, from the little things that make life so very much, worthwhile.

That's why I keep this notebook on my shelf - because, these memories become far more important as time and life circumstance begins to steal them away.

In this way, my memories can always stay.

And so, on those days when Life seems intent on mottling up these moments... I simply dust off my notebook, and flip through these pages to remind it,
"No, dear...this is my story."
Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ and may we always be mindful of the stories we're telling.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

His Holiness and Dealing With Anger.



"When we fully develop anger, we can not see the reality." ~ His Holiness, the Dalai Lama

The energy of an angry moment can be quite daunting. Falling into a 'blind rage' is much more than a simple metaphor. It describes the physical and spiritual condition that develops when we are angry - and our inability to see clearly, the reality before us.

And when we are unable to see, to face our situation with a calmness of heart, we are unable to move past this emotion. 
 
His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about dealing with anger in this clip from his visit to Doon School in Dehradun, India, on October 28, 2011.

The entire event can be viewed at http://youtu.be/-3qC5YrfKjc (www.dalailama.com)

Becoming a Much Better You.


“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ― Hélder Câmara

I was thinking over just a few things this morning, and in response to a message that I had received. You see, yesterday I posted an image of a young boy waiting outside the gates of our National Zoo, which I felt to be a sad statement of these most pressing political affairs.

Their message was quite simple, and designed to invoke a knee jerk reaction. Over the years, I have learned to recognize the intent behind words - some are born of craving, others of fear... but, always there is a most beautifully imperfect human needing something on the other end.

It's in these moments that we must most learn to let Judgement pass.

We must learn to recognize the need, and no matter what the circumstances may bring.

None of us are perfect, my dears. Our bodies littered with the scars of each life's challenge; the deep creases around our eyes, filled with the dust of a well worn path.

But, there is always a most beautiful light inside - and that light will wind endlessly until it find that one chink in our spiritual armor, and in order to make its way through.

I'm not sure if I have yet already shared, but...truth be told...I was a bit of an 'odd ball' growing up. As a small child I would spend countless hours toiling away in the woods. In those days, I believed the trees could hear my thoughts. Still do, to this day... trees are pretty magical in that way.

And, I always wished to take up for those who had not yet found their voice, or who found their own purpose, elusive. You see, even through my 8-year-old school girl eyes, I could see their hearts were so very much in need.

Not long following, I became a vegetarian - and much to the hushed gasps of my very-meat-eating family. I did so because I could very much see the spirit in those eyes looking back at me. Even at such an early age, I prayed I would not ever become so militant in my own views that I wouldn't be open to the views of others.

I'm 44 now - and not much of that has changed. Save, that I have the lessons of these years to help guide me - and the many blessings of loved ones to help me along this way.

My dears, we all have a story to share. But, more importantly, we all have a choice to be made, as well - that is a life spent in service to others, or a life spent in servitude to one's own ego.

So, which will it be?

It's so easy to react to these circumstances, to give in to our own emotion - but, in doing so we begin to close off the most beautiful parts of our soul...that awfully uncomfortable space between where vulnerability leads to self discovery.

And, in time, the ability to just let go.

My dears, sometimes we must hop off our horse - in order to gain a better view, and always to see into another's eyes.

It is somewhat ironic, now isn't it - that it's the holding on that keeps us from moving forward, from becoming that which we most wish to be...and creating a space for all hearts to grow.

Opening one's heart is never easy. We feel defenseless, and susceptible to the unsettledness of this world. It's clumsy and awkward and ill-fitting, at best.

But, how else is that most brilliant light to ever break through?

It seems the only thing to be gained by way of an uncompromising heart, is the restriction of a much more limited view. 

And, my dears...that simply just won't do, in the matter of becoming a much better you.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ and, when we are presented with these moments...may we always see the human on the farthest, other end.

*blessing and peace* to all of you...



Friday, October 11, 2013

At What Cost Are We Willing to Make the Kill: Hunters Accidentally Kill Sacred Moose.



"Weaker animals in the wild, we hear, will only die miserable deaths by starvation and exposure without sport hunters to control their population. Yet it's the bigger, stronger animals they're killing and wounding--the very opposite of natural selection--often with bows and pistols that only compound and prolong the victim's suffering.”  ― Matthew Scully

I read a story today, one in which a group of hunters mistakenly killed a sacred white moose. A most majestic creature, it roamed the forests surrounding the Mi'kmaq indigenous community for many years, greatly revered and untouched by the impulse of human hands.

For those who are not yet aware, animals born with this rare form of albinism are considered to be most sacred - representing the spirits of ancestors past, and there to offer their guidance and protection.


Said Mi'kmaq hunter Danny Paul,

"We know the significance and we've been teaching that to the non-native population for almost 500 years — about the importance that this and other white animals played in our lives. We are not to harm them in any way, shape, or form because they could be one of our ancestors coming to remind us of something significant that's going to happen within our communities. It was so disrespectful having seen it put on the social media, and it's been an outcry and our people are outraged."
There is a code amongst hunters, one that defines the responsibility of man against nature - and to the extent best able.

Sadly, these three hunters were unaware of the spiritual significance of this beautiful creature - sparking a outrage throughout the Nova Scotia community.

And though, I do understand there is a place for hunting in the world of others (though, I do not personally support it) - I wonder, at what cost are we willing to make that kill? 


Saddest Photo From the Government Shutdown.


“I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in-between.” ― Ayn Rand

We are all hearing such tales, of back and forth bickering – inundated with the details of government we never thought to know.

Faces of politicians are splashed under headlines of a most uncompromising view. Millions are without work, and wondering if an end shall ever be near.

But nothing seems to tell the tale better than the image of a small child standing sadly at the gates of the Washington D.C. Zoo, and wishing only for the opportunity to enter in.

A child knows nothing of these, adult politics. In some ways, their vision is much clearer than our own.

Perhaps, this is the message Congress most needs to hear.

Whatever You Love, You Are.



"That sound in the brush?
A settling of wind in sorghum.

If they capture you, talk.
Talk. Please, yes. You heard me
right the first time.

You will be asked who you are.
Eventually, we are all asked who we are.

All who come
All who come into the world
All who come into the world are sent.
Open your curtain of spirit."


My dears, and who are you on this day?

What drives your spirit against all odds - and encourages that next step forward?

And, what is it that causes your heart to open, if only for just a bit - and just long enough for the light of this world to come in?

What takes the tempered tapping of falling rain against the window frame, and transforms it into one of life's most beautiful symphonies?

Or finds a brand new 'view' within a single drop of morning dew, and realizes - even this, is enough to 'wash' all the troubles of this world away?


What builds Faith from the ashes of heartache, and creates Compassion's space amongst the broken shards below?

What makes the spirit glow...to come alive in the span of one sweet, simple breath?

My dear, the answer is you.

And, this most beautiful truth - that is, whatever you love, you become.

Namaste, my most beautiful friends ~ and try to remember just this as you make your way through your day. You are very much, reflected in the world that surrounds you. 

So, if I may ask just once again - my dears, who will you be on this day? 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Story of the Hummingbird.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ― Margaret Mead
 
Today, I watched from my window as a group of boys raced back and forth. Behind them, and trying desperately to keep up the pace, was a younger boy—maybe just six years old.
“Go away,” they shouted. “You’re too little to play with us.”

And then I watched, as the littlest of the boys…hung his head sadly and walked away.
So, I stepped outside and called him near, as I could tell that he needed a smile.

“Come here,” I called out. “And now, tell me…just what is this awfully big matter?”

“I’m too small,” he sniffled through his tears.

 

Oh, how I remember that feeling of always being too ‘so very small.’ Chasing my big brother and all of his friends perilously through those thick woods. I wanted so very much to be part of their much bigger group—to laugh and to play. But always, and inevitably, they would ‘shoosh’ me away.
“You’re too small.” they would shout. “Go home, we don’t want you around!”

Sometimes, the earliest of lessons are the ones that stick with us the longest. Because, I will never forget that feeling of being so very small. I suppose, that’s why it is that I’m always on the lookout for little ones being pushed away.

“Come here,” I said. “Let me show you a little something. Do you see those trees, how they move? And how the birds, they’re way up their looking down at you. And, the wind? Can, you feel the wind against your cheek? Oh, and how about that sun way up over there? Close your eyes, and tell me…can you feel the sun’s light shining down on you?”

“Yes,” he sniffled, as he scrunched up his eyes and turned his face towards the sky.

“Well,” I whispered secretly to him, “all of that is the Universe—and you’re a big part of that, too.

Everything that is, and everything that was…and everything that will ever be, it’s all a part of you.

And, all that stuff you feel inside of your heart? That’s a little piece of it within you. So, you see…with all of this great big Universe inside and around you, you are not so very small, at all.”

And, though—at six years old, I’m not sure just how very much of these words may have settled in. I could tell, at least, as he looked up at the sky—that he felt just a little ‘bigger’ that day.

We all feel small, sometimes.

And, there will always be something much bigger than our own hearts, and with the capacity to completely humble our souls.

In life, there will always be challenges. And, there will be times when we face what may seem to be insurmountable odds.

But know this—nothing is ever too big, and we are never too small.

So, shine on and shine through—because, after all, the Universe is within you.

And always remember, no matter how hopeless the odds—even a hummingbird can put out a forest fire.


In this beautifully animated clip from Dirt! The Movie, Wangari Maathai tells an inspiring tale of doing the best you can under seemingly interminable odds. ~ DirtTheMovie

“I will be a hummingbird" - Wangari Maathai

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Humanity's Computer Chip?


 “At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—'Come out unto us.' But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My dears, this morning and while waiting for my appointment I watched a young child, no more than 3 years-old scream in distress and for his Mother. He wanted only a single moment of comfort ~ offered by way of a soothing hug, or a voice of understanding.

Instead this Mother... and without ever looking up... handed the young boy her phone. She was far too distracted by the busy-ness of her day, and held hostage by the schedules in her head - that she had mistaken that silly phone for love.

My heart ached as I watched the young boy ~ reaching out for the arms of his Mom.

And yet, we have the audacity to wonder what on earth is going on...

In our schools...

In our homes...

And throughout our world.

My dears, we believe we are merely offering a quickie distraction - but in the end, aren't we ultimately dulling their young hearts? Stealing away their innocence and curiosity, and replacing compassion with a computer chip?

That's not the way to a better life now, is it? As parents, we must being to teach our children well - to show them that life is that which surrounds them, each day...and not that which can be stored inside the constructs of a phone.

And how are we ever to become 'one human family' - when the humanness of family is so obviously broken?

My dears, the time for change is now - isn't it? Perhaps, the very first step is to begin making eye contact with our kids.

Just my two humble cents on this crisp fall morning...because, I'm quite certain humanity doesn't have a computer chip.

Namaste, my dears....and always remember, the greatest of change comes from within.



Monday, October 7, 2013

A Letter to My Son.

 “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.” ~  J.K. Rowling
My dearest, most darling son...

Today is the day, my dear...the one in which we have waited for all of our lives - and the one in which I worried over for so many sleepless nights.

It's not always easy being a parent, but luckily...I had the blessing of children so rich in spirit and honor, that I dare say my job was made much easier. You were my single gift from all these heavens.

And, today I shall watch you walk alone onto this, your next path - and wondering, have I shared all the lessons and in just the right way?

As you were growing up, I worried over every scraped knee and every tumble and fall. And those late nights when the fever just wouldn't break? I sat alone in the rocking chair next to your crib ~ hoping I might find the secret to becoming the best Mommy ever.

And, oh I made so many mistakes ~ and there were always things that I had wished we might do, but circumstances left us only with those wishes yet in our hearts. And those are the wishes that helped us as we found our way through - forming a bond, like none this earth might ever have known.

My dear, you'll find in life the difficulties will make you stronger - that there is an indomitable strength of spirit that comes only by way of heart that won't give in.

This is our blessing, now isn't it? That in the end, and no matter what life's challenge - my dear, we decide what fate might bring. And, we decide the life we shall live...

Every minute, and every moment - is ours to determine. And even in the face of the most dire of circumstances ~ my dear, know always that the heart shall find its way.

And, all of those moments spent wondering if you'll ever be quite good enough? You'll find there shall always be some bright spirit to help you find the courage.

My dear, thank you for the gift of your bright spirit ~ and for helping a young frightened girl become a great Mom.

I love you... to the moon and back... and if there should ever come a moment when you feel alone, and not so certain of self... you'll need only to look to the stars, as my light will be shining down on you from above.

My dear, I am so very proud of you ~ for all that you are, and all that you've yet to become. And, may each new day be filled with the adventure you so very much have earned.

Love,

Mommy




Sunday, October 6, 2013

Through the Looking Glass.



“I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then” ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass 

I have been having a bit of a challenge with my health, as of late. Facing the bumps and bruises in these, our later years, can often prove a bit of a trial - even for those of us who are quite resilient of self.

Truth be told, the other night, and while standing amidst the reflections of a dozen or so most perfectly formed bodies - I felt for the first time, imperfect of spirit. As if, these pieces of me had broken away along this pathway of life and had been forever lost along the trail.

That's always one of the more interesting revelations, now isn't it? When we find ourselves mourning over these 'pieces' that have passed - and facing the uncertainty of the much longer road to follow.

Rather than counting through all the blessings we now have.... we spend hours gazing foolishly into the looking glass, instead.

And so, as I scrutinized this vision standing before me - my eyes following the deep shadows marking the path these many years have since worn... I felt so awkwardly detached from this, my former self.

Having a life altering illness isn't always so easy, you know... though, it does create moments ripe for thought-filled introspection.

And that's the beauty now, isn't it?

Sure my body isn't as it once was - and certainly the grey is becoming a little more difficult to conceal.

And, in the space where these tears once so easily fell? There's a beautiful smile in my eyes, instead.

Because, my dears, as the years fade away - the soul comes alive. And these pieces we mourn? In breaking away, they reveal the true beauty inside.

But, the mirror can only show the 'shell' of our being.

Much like the lotus flower breaking finally free of the mud, silted waters...the miracle rests far beneath the blossom.

And, my dears, that's the story the mirror can never tell.

Namaste, and much love on this day... and instead of seeking out flaws, look instead to the journey, and see the most beautiful part that is you.