Don’t Blink.

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“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Yesterday, I was driving home from an appointment. On the curb, where I turn into my street, a father with his two-year-old sat where the olive trees grow. The sun was high over head at noontime and the light filtered through the leaves, leaving shiny patches on their smooth tanned faces.

Peals of laughter rang out from both father and his son, who was at the moment, having a ball playing with a plastic bottle cap. He held it up and played with as if it was a prized possession. There is magic in toys of this sort that can entertain for hours.

Both father and son were having the time of their lives. Chatting it up and laughing up a storm. So full of energy, that if they had done an impromptu rain dance a cloud would have surely appeared.

I rounded the corner, and slowed to a snail’s pace in case the boy decided to dart from where he was sitting, as young children often do.

I started feeling the wave of a blush fall over me as I realized I had entered and was enjoying their intimate moment when I wasn’t an invited guest to the party. I offered a little wave out of my embarrassment right as I passed them. The little boy waved back to me in the same way that my children used to when they were little. He waved his tiny hand, holding tightly onto the bottle cap. My heart turned into a puddle in my chest.

On autopilot, I parked the car in front of our house and got out to go inside. But, as my car door shut, the duo pulled me back to them like a magnet instead of walking in the door, my feet took me down the block toward where they sat. Continue reading

Let Your Heart Fly & Your Soul Roar.

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We have all been shaken by life events. Some more so than others, but no one’s life is a constant party. We have all been hurt and this pain may have stopped or delayed us from living out our passions to the fullest.

I strongly believe that finding our passion and carrying it out to the best of our abilities has a healing effect on each and every one of us.

My writing has always made my heart sing. I started as soon as I could hold a pencil. Although there were some dark years, I still wrote when I could, but more recently my passion has taken flight.

I may not be as polished or as eloquent as others, but writing is my release and my joy. I am happy and unashamed to share my words with the world today. This has opened my soul up in so many ways, and I can’t say how grateful that I am for this blessing.

I urge everyone to look within the depths of your own being and start living what calls to your own heart and soul. It is never too late and it may not be perfect (this was a fear of my own), but listening to your calling and living out your own authentic truth will set you free. Continue reading

Overwhelmed Due to Paralyzing Emotions or PTSD?

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“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?” ~ Mary Manin Morrissey

 

I think many of us have experienced situations in which we were so petrified of what might happen that we literally could not move, let alone breathe properly.

One of the first times I can remember this happening to me was when I was about three years old.

I was in my bedroom late at night and I actually saw ghosts of soldiers marching up and down the hallway outside of my cracked open bedroom door. I still swear to this day that they were real.

I was wide awake and concentrated on making myself as small as I could and breathing as shallow as was feasible, lest they see me and find me. I found myself overwhelmed with fear and not knowing how to solve this problem.

I wanted nothing more badly than to run down the hall to my parent’s bedroom to be comforted, but it was the same long hallway that the gun toting, marching soldiers were occupying. And I had a strong intuitive feeling they did not want to be bothered or be seen by me. And I certainly did not want to get close to them.

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So there I lay—afraid to even make the small movement of closing my eyes. I was engulfed in the crushing terror of being without a good solution to my problem.

The soldiers showed up on more than one occasion, but I never told my parents, lest the brigade would find me out and become angry with me for telling anyone.

Looking back, I might chalk this experience up to a child’s imagination, but I refuse to discount my feelings that were so very real at that time. Whatever it was that I saw through my eyes and/or my brain during those nights was genuine, and I would never want to dishonor my truth at any age.

Fast forward from age three into adulthood—I have had these petrified feelings many more times since then. And, I know many others have had them too.

For me, it feels like a cold white heat in my chest, with the inability to inhale a full breath. Many would call this incident a panic attack, but I’m choosing not to label my experiences at this time.

These mind-sets have settled upon me on many occasions throughout my 45 years—some for good reason (like the time I was shot at by my friend’s crazy neighbor or after my father’s suicide) and some for seemingly lesser reasons (such as when I have become weighed down and felt that I could not get out of bed to save my life). No matter what the reason, my body’s physical reaction has been similar, and I know many others who can relate. In my case, this is caused by delayed-onset PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I have learned some tricks along the way to ease the pain of these frozen feelings: And yes, I have been to therapy (a lot) and have read many books on dealing with how to dig my way out of the holes that I feel stuck in and situations I feel threatened by.

Here is what I have learned: Continue reading

My Words of Love.

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We all need to be heard…

I was contemplating this need after a conversation that I had with a dear friend. I had shared a poem with him and he explained that it caused deep feelings to well from the depths his heart. He was sad and told me that he felt like crying. This was the exact feeling that I had experienced upon reading the very same poem that I had sent to him.

The more that I thought about our exchange, the more I came to believe that I am at my most vulnerable with my writing when I am creating poetry. Somehow, this form of writing opens up the gates to my heart more than with any other type of writing is able to do.

I also feel that poems, when read or heard, dig a little deeper into our souls than any other form of written medium.

Further, I realized that when you have a very good friend, you can’t always hold back information that touches your own heart in an effort to spare their heart. We are on this earth to laugh and cry together.

The following poem was inspired by the above conversation with my friend. I was also inspired by another beautiful friend’s vision of how poetry (writing, reading, and sharing) frees our souls and touches all of us so deeply as every ‘Journey of the Heart’ inevitably does. Continue reading

Contemplating the Arts.

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“From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote. It speaks to what I believe deep inside my heart and soul. When I think of the light that shines through us, I think of myself, my children, and about all of the people I know and even those I don’t know or haven’t met yet.

When I apply this idea to the arts, magical light starts shining from within me. And I begin to think of others—how glorious would it be if more people let their light shine upon a painting, photo, song or poem?

I also think of our future—the children in this world. Will they grow to appreciate and let their light shine upon various types of art?

With so many of the arts being taken out of school curricula, my hope is that the next generation will learn either through self discovery or gentle guidance from their parents. And my true wish is that they will learn to do this mindfully.

When I was a child, art was something that I could escape to, and oh how wonderful it was! It made me feel every emotion I never knew I had.

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I grew a deep love for the arts at an early age, as I enjoyed the many paintings that we had hanging on our walls, and I was profoundly mesmerized by the photography and art books in our home.

In particular, I spent hours studying a photography exhibit made into a book called, The Family of Man. This book showcased photos of various people from all the world over. I would stay blissfully fascinated for hours at a time looking through those photos. They chronicled people from birth to death—in war, happiness, fear, serenity and all that fell in between.

I studied those photos so much that I became those people in my mind, noticing every detail of their facial expressions, contact that they had with the land, objects or people among them. I was entranced, and I still often retreat to this cherished book. Continue reading

10 Ways to be Sensual without being Sexual.

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“Sensual pleasures are like soap bubbles, sparkling, effervescent. The pleasures of intellect are calm, beautiful, sublime, ever enduring and climbing upward to the borders of the unseen world.” – John H. Aughey

I have been struggling with the possibly of writing about sex and I just can’t go there.

I have teen children and a husband who is a very private person, and whom I respect greatly. And, I am also very private about this part of my life as well.

So, I have decided to write about some of the expressions of love that make me feel really close to my husband (and even some that apply to friends and family), which have nothing at all to do with sex. And believe me when I say that I feel that these sensual experiences are what almost every woman (and possibly man) secretly or not-so secretly desire and need in a relationship much more than sex at times. Continue reading

The Birds, Bees & Mother Nature in All of her Glory. {Video}

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“My profession is to always find God in nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

This glorious brief film by Hans Meir Buijtendorp moved my heart immeasurably.

There is nothing grander than being in tune with nature and I delighted in every graceful hummingbird’s twirl, bee’s interaction and flower’s bloom.

There are so few words to describe this beautifully done short film. I hope your soul will be moved as much as mine was.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmfCE5-Iz8

Photos: Still shots from video.

Transformation & Butterflies.

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“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively.

Orange Butterfly: “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” – Trina Paulus

When I received a phone call telling me that my father had committed suicide, I hit the floor—both figuratively and literally. It is devastating news when someone passes, but a suicide is especially hard to deal with.

Thank goodness I can not predict the future, because If I had known in that moment what the next few years had in store for me, I’m sure I would have given up right then and there. Instead, I somehow found the strength and courage to get up off of the floor that day and on the many days following my father’s death. It wasn’t always pretty or consistent, and much of it I did for my children and husband who needed me, but I did get up as much as I was able to.

Grief is such a personal process to go through for each individual. When we get bad news—life altering news—such as finding out about a loved one’s death, there is no way to tell how we will react, but in my experience, we will and do find ways of coping with our loss.

Somehow, we seem to embrace what it is deep inside of each of us that will help us to survive a loss. These tools that we carry at the core of our beings help us to maneuver our way through the unthinkable situations which are put before us in life.

Further, these tools can be used consciously and sometimes unconsciously. But, each and every one of us has an outlet of some sorts. Continue reading

Because I Love You More than You May Ever Know.

6c9e2a90bb268dc9528aee0649baf3347d1afed3 (2)“Are you awake?”

I hear nothing in return but his gentle breathing and weigh the consequences of whispering aloud again.

I understand that he needs his sleep. But, at the same time, I sense the lonely weight of being the only one awake with unsaid words that press urgently against my heart. Words that need to be spoken.bedsanoma.jpg

“Honey, are you up?”

A few moments pass and then he utters a soft “uh-huh” as he turns to face my direction—his lovely familiar and sleepy, relaxed face glowing in the moonlight streaming through the window.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” He replies.

I decide to say what has been on my mind. . .

“Remember the last time I saw my dad and I thought he was dying because I felt that his soul had left his body, but no one believed me? Everyone told me that I was going crazy because there seemed to be nothing wrong with him, but then he took his life ten days later.

Well, I wish with every fiber of my heart that I had told him everything I felt about him while I still had the chance. I regret that I didn’t reveal that I knew something was wrong, but my feelings were influenced by other’s reactions so much that I felt too awkward and stupid to mention anything to him.

You know how nothing is certain in life? And I do feel that you and I are certain, but I can’t bear the thought of ever having to live without you. Continue reading

Walk Away from the Negative & Toward the Positive in 3 Steps.

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In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” ~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I have been running across the concept of dealing with one’s outlook, inner thoughts and spoken words more and more lately. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel the universe brings us concepts when we are ready to appreciate and utilize them.

The concept is simple to understand when one is open to it—Let’s say one is spending their time dreading a party—well guess what? This may become a self fulfilling prophesy that will grow inside of them until it manifests in real life.

What if instead, one is open to thinking, “There are a few people at that party that will be really interesting to talk to” or another positive statement such as this? You guessed it—this will become one’s outlook when they walk into that party. And they may actually enjoy their experience!

Further—the very best part about it? It can be anyone’s option to choose the second, more positive stance. Once someone makes a habit of thinking in terms like this, great things start happening. People are more attracted to positive people, doors that were once closed will open, and best of all—the person who makes a conscious decision to change the way they think becomes much more fulfilled by taking a positive role in directing his or her own life.

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I have made up a short guide about this that is in no way all-inclusive of all situations possible, but here is a sampling: Continue reading