my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Saturday, December 29, 2012

becoming real ...

i was thinking this past week, about spirit.

and how faith in a person, loving a person, can bring about their real self.

i was also thinking about the difference between knowing you are loved, and feeling you are loved.

it is possible to know, without a doubt, that someone loves you.  yet it is a completely different thing to feel that someone loves you.  and knowing someone loves you does not guarantee that you will feel loved by that person.

but the feeling of being loved completely ... allows us to be who we are, completely.  our real selves.  we know we are safe, our heart is safe, our real self is safe ...

this nurtures our spirit and keeps it alive ... 

like during the holidays, you see something similar in many of the christmas movies ... when the children (and in some movies the adults too) believe in santa claus, their belief in him makes his sleigh fly;  believing in santa makes him exist ... makes him real.

when we as parents believe in our children to make good choices, to "be good" and to do what's right, they generally rise to meet that standard.  our belief in them, in that way, makes those ways real.

when teachers believe in their students, and treat them as if they are already successful, they succeed in larger numbers and with greater accomplishment.

it is not just the christmas spirit ... it is the human spirit.

when someone believes in us and loves us, completely ... wholly, and without fail
not because of what we can do for them ...  not because of us "doing" anything at all ... but just because we are who we are ...
when someone believes in us,
like the little boy believed in the velveteen rabbit,

we become real.
we become who we really are.
who we've been all along,
since we were very young,
and uninhibited.

who we are capable of becoming
without fear 
or doubt.

i am fortunate to know with certainty that i have been loved in this way.
it gives me great peace to know
that i in turn
in this way...

there is a true calmness that settles over our heart when we realize and recognize this.
a lightness, a settledness (if that's a word) inside our chest, that provides a clearer and brighter path for us to walk.
(i used to describe this as a rushing inside my chest that one day i realized had stopped ...)
when we are not hindered by anything outside of ourselves, when we are moved and encouraged by love and faith (faith of any kind, in any thing or in anyone) ... we are free to live from our heart, we step more surely and believe in those steps ... as we become real.

and as the skin horse assured the velveteen rabbit ...
once we become real,
we can't become unreal again ...  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

being heard: one of our greatest human needs

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”   -Leo Buscaglia

being heard is one of the greatest human needs.  it is feeling valued and feeling loved.  letting someone know they matter can be the greatest gift of their life.  

please click here to visit my latest article:

with my own photos along with the professional work of

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

shine ...

sometimes we are fortunate enough
to be given people
 who not only love us exactly as we are, 
but somehow have a way
of making us even more "us"

a way of bringing out even more
of who we truly are

and if you find yourself 
in this place,

you will recognize the beauty
in every season of your life,

the possibilities 
in every pocket of your soul,

the love
in every corner of your heart ...

give in

thank you

with all that you are ...

Friday, November 16, 2012

live your legacy

I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at Inspirational Blogs.

so i attended a memorial service last week and was inspired like never before.

i wrote about this beautiful experience, and guess what?

i am now a regular contributing writer for lightworkers world!

you can read my article on their website :D by clicking here:   "are you living your legacy?" 

look for more of my thoughts there in the future, including photography by my soul sister liana kvidera, of carpe diem artography:

Visit LightWorkers World: Resources to create positive change and Self empowerment


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

i say no to tolerance. i say yes to embracement.

i have never talked a whole lot about homosexuality and/or gay marriage in my house, not because i am against it, but because i do not see it as an issue.  people are people.  i would rather see a same sex couple who treats each other with respect and love, than a heterosexual couple who does not.  when i was growing up my mother said to me, "race and color make no difference.  i would rather see you marry a black man, an asian man, a mexican, a mixed-race or purple polka dotted man, if he loves you, respects you, and treats you the way you deserve to be treated,  than a white man who abuses you in any way, either physically, mentally, or emotionally.  love is love.  and it is not limited to skin or culture."  soon after that she also added that if any of her children announced that they were gay, she would be happy as long as their partner loved them, respected them, and treated them the way they deserved to be treated.

my children have grown up with this mindset ...  i have always had friends who were part of the homosexual community ... gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, whatever.  i have had them and their partners as part of my family.  a "gay wedding" is no different than a "not gay wedding" to me nor to my children, and i am happy for them to see two people who love each other getting married.  we welcome them into our home just as we would anyone else and we love them.  why wouldn't we?   my children look at them the same way they look at any couple.  we are, in fact, all part of the same community.

i do realize that not everybody agrees with this (i have friends and family who don't, and that's okay with me,) and there are people who would rather hang out with a man and woman who mistreat each other than two women who don't or two men who don't.  i am not trying to change anyone's mind.

i have always told my children that they do not have to believe what i believe. they are encouraged to learn as much as possible and to make their own decisions.  if they want to explore any belief system, any religion, go to any church or place of worship to see what they think or feel about it, i will absolutely take them and learn with them.  i do not have to agree with them to support them with my whole heart.  but in the end, i might.  who knows?  the point is to be open.  i say no to tolerance.  i do not teach them to tolerate differences, i teach them to celebrate differences.  to embrace them, to learn from them,  to allow them to enrich our relationships and make us better human beings.

so ... today on the drive home from school, my teenager reviewed a little of the big ongoing post-election conversation that went on there today.  one point in particular that one of his classmates made, was that homosexuality is unnatural.  i asked my son how he felt about that and if he had a response.  i am proud to hear that he replied to this person:  "no, no it's not.  how can love be unnatural?  it's love.  period."  his classmate said, "you're just letting your religious beliefs get in the way of your judgment."  to which my son replied, "no actually, i don't care about religion at all, religion has nothing to do with whether or not you love someone.  if someone loves someone, why shouldn't they be allowed to?"  his classmate: "it's unnatural; humans are the only species where homosexuality exists."  my son:  "dude that is so not true.  and anyway, everyone has someone in their family somewhere along the line, who is homosexual, whether they know it or not." his classmate:  "no way, not me, i definitely don't."  my son:  "okay dude.  that's what you think, and it's ok that i think differently.  and to me, being kind is more important.  if you wanna be against something, how about being against ... communism. or mean people." 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

ballots and bubbles. my wish for positivity at the polls.

i really don't like politics.  ugh.  not any of it.  

and today was the day.  the day when, thank goodness, everyone got to stop fussin and fightin and go cast their vote.

at least that's what i thought was going to happen.

i spent over 2 hours in line, it really wasn't bad, and it was actually not as long as i had anticipated.  i enjoyed people watching, sipping my latte, and talking with whomever felt like talking.  i enjoyed being there and didn't even think about how long it was taking.

sadly, i was surrounded by people who were guessed it ... still fussin and fightin:
"oh great, how long do you think it's gonna take this line to move?"
"i am not waiting in this line, this is ridiculous"
"oh my god, how long have you been here?"
"i still have to go to work, this is nuts"
"what is taking so long?"
"they should be more organized ...why don't they have better signs about which line to be in?"

i could go on and on.  i thought at one point, many of these people wait much longer in line for a concert or to get a good deal on a television or a video game on black friday.  but they are "inconvenienced" by waiting in line for the right to vote?

people serve this country and fight for this right that we are standing in line for.  some of them have lost their lives, lost their loved ones, or are unable to be here on this day to participate; do you think they would be complaining that there is a wait ... which is actually a good thing because it means that so many people care enough to be here?  do you think any of them would complain and appreciate the lack of gratitude when they have put or continue to put their lives on the line?

then there were the people complaining about what they would do if they were president.  or what they think "should be."  or what is wrong with this voting process at this location.  or the process at another nearby location that they heard about from a neighbor's cousin's friend on facebook.

i honestly don't care about any of those things that people were grumbling about.  nor did i want to carry around the negativity that hung in the air with those words.  i don't even have a problem with people who didn't vote.   because there were the people too, believing they were right to scold or bully anyone else into voting in the first place.  shaming anyone who didn't vote.  i thought it was a free country.  i thought it was our choice.  if someone chooses not to, aren't they free to make that decision? hmmm.

you know what else i think?
i think the next time i go to vote, i am going to bring a coloring book, crayons, and a small bottle of bubbles.  i hope i remember.  for the weary mom in line with 3 children and a stroller, doing her best to keep all of their spirits up when clearly the children have all reached their point of meltdown after being there for hours and really are trying their best to behave and be patient as their mom is begging them to do.  i applaud them.  not one of them complained about anything but their tiny feet hurting or wanting to sit down or dropping their sippy cup.  all legitimate and innocent when you're under the age of 4, and to be honest i think the baby had a heavy diaper by the time mom was on deck.

i think sitting on the floor at eye level with them and blowing a few little bubbles together would have made a huge difference in their day, and might have even reminded some of the other voters there to stop thinking about themselves ... that those little lives are the future.  and the future is in our hands.  and standing in line for a couple of hours being grateful and setting a good example, instead of complaining, is the very least that we can do.

always a moving experience for me:
  men. women.  all ages.  different cultural backgrounds.  walking.  not walking.  all voting. one nation.

"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it". 
- Clarence Budington Kelland

Saturday, November 3, 2012

celebrate YOU

to be continued ...

so today while i was driving, i was thinking, and having conversations in my head, you know, much like the way our thought process goes when we're in the shower.  that's not just me, right?

so i was driving after having spent some time with a friend.  not just any friend, but a friend of my heart.  a connection i cannot imagine not having. 

i was wondering why this is.  and i was thinking about whether or not it really is what it seems to be.  like, how is this such an important thing, how is it that this person's presence actually affects me in this unique way?  there was, after all, a time when this connection did not yet exist.

how is it that being around this person feels like a celebration … of who we are ... of who each of us is.  a treasured collection of moments of being who we are, and excelling at it.  and it feels like we are never finished being together, we are always "to be continued …"

i was wondering, is it me?  am i assigning more value to this because of my  extremely tender heart?  am i making this mean more than it is, in my mind?  you know how we all know we have had moments where we question ourselves because we can all overthink things sometimes.  especially when we're driving.  alone.  that's not just me, right?

and so i tried to compare this friendship to others … and i couldn't.  
i tried to explain it to myself … and i couldn't.  
i tried to define it … and i couldn't.

but what i did succeed in doing, was realizing this ultimate truth:  the quality of my life is better with this person in it.

it's really that simple.  it's really that true.  and that was all i needed to know in the end.  

i smiled the rest of the way home ...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

searching for robbie wood. and finding the human spirit.

today is the anniversary of the amazing rescue of robbie wood, jr.

this time last year, thousands gathered together, hugged, and cried, rejoiced, and cried some more, when the young robbie wood was found alive after a week long exhaustive search in the woods of doswell, virginia.  robbie, an autistic 9 year old, had separated from his family on sunday, october 23, 2011.

i was part of this search, every day, going first thing in the morning and staying until i was told to leave.  it was an experience i will never be able to forget, nor would i want to, for so many reasons, on so many levels.

one of my very best friends joined me and i remember the breath escaping both of us simultaneously as we pulled into the parking lot that very first morning of the search, and we saw the tremendously long line of volunteers which had already formed.  people who stopped their own world from turning, and went instead where their hearts led them.

there were almost no words.  we understood this in this fragile moment, and we managed to mutter something to each other about human spirit.  with heavy hearts it felt as though we walked as one, to join the line.

we stood in line from early morning until afternoon, to register and receive instructions regarding the search.   i can't explain how it was that we could not be anywhere else at any moment in time on that day.

strangers hugged one another, helped one another, and came together right before our eyes.
the tension, the fear, the gratitude, the hope, was rampant.

one of the volunteers

we searched until dark and returned home with weariness, anxiety ... and tension, fear, gratitude, and hope.

the next day brought more of the same, but less time waiting and more time searching.  the people in charge were amazing and tireless.  the woods were so thick in areas that we literally could not see 3 feet away from where we were and we had to constantly call out to each other to know by sound that we were not alone, and that we were still together as a team.  there were thickets and holes and all kinds of random things and places to search in, under, behind, and through.  there were swamps and ponds and water holes that we walked through, hills and trenches that we climbed, all the while feeling for a child and looking for any clothing or evidence that he was there or had once been there.  with every step forward, around, and sideways, there was hope.  we all wanted to find robbie, in a bad way.  but at the same time, we did not want to find him "in a bad way" or (and these are difficult words) not alive.  so when i say that with every step there was hope, believe me when i say that with every step there was also fear.  at the end of the day, it was physically hard to leave.  we didn't want to go and return to the safety and warmth of our own homes, with our own families, knowing this child was still lost, temperatures were freezing, and his family was still aching.  with every return, every night fall, there was prayer, meditation, and faith.

every day was the same.

although i was tied in emotional knots and physically exhausted, i spent time awake every night watching my own children sleep, listening to them, breathing their breath, and kissing their innocent and unknowing faces.

at the end of the week, just as we were returning from a search around lunchtime, we received word that robbie had been found.  through tears and smiles and hugs and words that i cannot even remember, we managed to move toward the tents full of volunteers serving food and drinks, and we anxiously awaited more news.  hearing that robbie was not only found, but also alive and okay, was enough to bring people to their knees.  my search partner had not been able to come that morning, and he was turned away when he did arrive in the afternoon, because there were more than enough volunteers already that day which could be trained and organized before dusk.  although he had left, he turned his car around and came all the way back, to be a part of this monumental moment.  we were all in shock i think, and it would be some time before we could realize that it really was over.

for several weeks afterwards i could literally not go any number of minutes without thinking about it, talking about it, feeling it.  i was very fortunate to meet one of the deputies during the search, who was kind enough to entertain my insatiable need to discuss it, and he said to me days later, "hasn't there ever been anything that happened in your life that you could not explain?"

these words have never left me.  i am quite certain that he does not know the effect this had on me, how i treasure his personhood, and how his words have rested in my soul, just laying quietly there, but living strongly with every rise and fall of my chest.

i still think about it, i still talk about it, and i still feel it.
we all searched for robbie.  with faith, hope, and love.
and we all witnessed the human spirit.  alive.  strong.  and invincible.
my gratitude
is never-ending.

 the flag raised afterwards in celebration of robbie's rescue

Thursday, October 25, 2012

honoring our connections

sometimes there are people who come into our life and we don't know how it was that we ever did not know them.

sometimes there are people who we connect with, even before we really speak.

sometimes there are people who we cannot disconnect from, even after we part.

there are those who touch our heart,
challenge our mind,
feed our soul.

i believe it is important to honor our connections.  no matter how big or small they might seem today.  no matter how much bigger or smaller they might become on any other day.

i believe it is important to see inside them and really treasure who lives in there. 

the gift of their presence might seem effortless,
but it is their greatest truth,
their spirit,
their journey,
and deserves to be handled with care.

so be thankful.

be thankful.

and be


Saturday, October 20, 2012

i am not my body: i am me

it's always interesting to me, to experience the many different ways that others experience me.

does that make sense?

the way people respond to others is always very telling.  it tells so much about the person doing the responding, and i am fascinated by this from a sociological perspective.

this week i have had the privilege of learning a lot about this exact thing.

by last night i felt very much like i had been beaten down.  partly by people i know, and partly by people i didn't even know existed in this world.  judgment is a very interesting thing.

and you know what?  i felt this even though i stand by the following idea:

i am not my body.  i believe the words of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:  "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

anyone who knows me knows that i believe this to the fullest; and that i am often heard saying the words:  "i am not my outsides."

so this week a picture of me, in all my natural born nakedness, was posted on Facebook.  it was certainly not a sexual or pornographic photograph in any way.  it was just a straight forward body shot ... i am proud of it, and saddened by the truth of how some people responded to it.  not saddened for myself, but saddened for what it says about human nature and instinctive response.

here is how some of the thread went:

one comment: omg there is a picture of you naked on fb. thought i should tell you so you can delete it before anyone sees it!
me: why would i want to do that?

another comment: oh no. you must be so embarrassed.
me: why would i be embarrassed? embarrassed of what?

here are my thoughts:
1) i am not my body. i am my insides, i am not my outsides.
2) having said that, i am proud of my body. it has been pregnant multiple times, survived multiple miscarriages, and produced 2 healthy human beings. it kept those 2 human beings alive solely on the milk it created. it has scars, stretch marks, and the effects of aging. and i am proud to have it. it is not perfect and i don't care. i am grateful that in my 40s anyone at all wants to take a picture of it. 
3) nudity does not equal sex. if you think it does, that says a lot about you, not me. in fact, sex does not even require nudity (gasp!) i have seen profile pictures of women and girls who are not old enough to vote, that are more provocative and suggestive than this. my parents and my children were present at this shoot and my dad took pictures of me as well. in all of the modeling i have done i have never shot anything sexual in nature. any photographer i have worked with can attest to that and the fact that i work with integrity and respect.
4) if you are judging me, i am glad this is a picture of my outsides and not your insides.

i haven't always loved my body; i was teased when i was younger, and i have been on the receiving end of many insults regardless of my age, about being too thin, not having meat on my bones, assumptions that i never eat, or whatever anyone thinks is okay to say.  i was told once that nursing was ruining my body.  i have had times, as everyone has, of wishing my body were different.  it has taken me a long time to finally feel good about it and embrace it and be nothing but thankful for the miraculous healthy machine that it is.  whatever it looks like.  it is the only body i have to carry me around in this place, and i am not embarrassed of it.  i am grateful for it and respectful of it.

i was also told this week by more than one person that i should be ashamed.  that i should consider how my children will be affected by such a thing.  that i am inappropriate.  odd.  gross.     (gross? really?  don't we all have bodies?  human bodies?  made basically the same?)  again ... some of these were people i know and some were not; they were merely judging me and stating their opinion.  i know that this says everything about them, and not a thing about me.  if someone says i am inappropriate, that can be what they think, but that doesn't make it true any more than if they said i am a penguin.  their perspective is true for them.  not for me.  i know that the way we see things is according to the way we think and the things we believe and the experiences we have had.  and i also know that just because we think something, that doesn't make it true.  our opinions and beliefs are not necessarily "right" for everyone else.  we are no better for believing what we believe, and no one else is better than we are, for believing what they believe.  it is not our place to insist our beliefs on others, nor is it their place to push theirs on us.

"it's one thing to feel you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path." -Paulo Coelho

just because i am not embarrassed or modest about my outsides, i am not conservative nor shy, that doesn't have to translate into me being ugly on the inside or any of the other things that people threw at me this week.  i know this because i know who i am.  and i know that people will see what they choose to see.

the facebook thread continued and i responded:

i believe there is something for me to learn from every person, even when they are in disagreement with me or judgmental. i respect their right to their own opinion and i am grateful that they feel they can express it to me. but even though i am a peacekeeper, i have learned that i do not need to withhold my own thoughts in order to keep peace. i know that when others have opinions that they believe are "right" ... that doesn't mean i am wrong if i think differently. and likewise, they are not "wrong" if they don't believe as i do. i have learned to live with the judgments of others for whatever it is that they believe. i choose to stand as me, be the soul of where i stand, and believe in myself, you, others, love, and peace. i don't judge those who judge me. i go to sleep at night knowing who i am.

so to anyone judging me in those ways, i only say i am sorry that you struggle with that which is different than yourself.  a lack of openness towards the differences in all of us only leads to a lack of growth and a smaller experience of this wonderful life.  you can wish that i were different ... because perhaps that would make you more comfortable in your own skin, but i am not going to change who i am due to your issues or your particular sensitivities.  i am not going to become what you want me to become.  it is not my responsibility to mold myself into what makes you feel good.  i am not here to satisfy you.  you do not have to like me or like to look at me, but you have every right to your opinion and every right to look or go the other way and get back to your own life.

if you are offended by my body, that's okay with me. you don't have to look at it. isn't that awesome??

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

peace on my skin

this necklace carries very special meaning and is extremely important to me.  it was made by my lifelong friend, richie pavlak. 

this necklace kind of earmarks the beginning of our friendship.  it was the first of many pieces that richie made for me.  and it was a total surprise, as he would later tell me our friendship was to him. 

when i first met richie, he was getting coffee at starbucks.  i was leaving and had one hand on the door when i saw him through the corner of my eye.  he was trying to get his wheelchair close enough to the counter and get his coffee without any trouble.  i did the worst thing.  i immediately let go of the door and walked over to help him.  the reason this was the worst thing, is because i would soon learn that that is exactly what richie would not have wanted anyone to do.  he "could get his own damn coffee by himself, dammit!"

the next time i saw him, again at starbucks, i noticed he was wearing a ring that was identical to one of mine.  it was silver and turquoise, made on a reservation.  i mentioned it to him (how serendipitous!?) and we soon discovered our mutual love for jewelry.  two weeks later at what was now our new favorite meeting place, he asked me to come speak with him before i left.  when i did, he presented me with this necklace.  i was so moved, i did what i always do at the feet of genuine kindness:  i cried.  i told him i had nothing to pay him with and that i had already spent my money on coffee ... we both laughed but he said, "i don't want any money for it. i made it for you. if you will wear it, that will make me very happy.  that will be worth more than any payment."

another thing i did not know at this point was that making jewelry was part of richie's therapy to regain the use of his hands.  he had been severely injured in a skiing accident and was too strong of a spirit to listen to the doctors when they told him there were things he would never be able to do again.  he went on to make more pieces than I could have ever imagined.  years later we joined him at events where he set up tables of displays, full of his work to sell, and my children were thrilled to help him. 

he joined us for lunch and live music in the park in our historical downtown district. 

we went restaurant hopping, sometimes just the two of us, and sometimes with my children in tow. 

richie lived in a nursing home when we met, and along the course of our friendship he was able to move out on his own into an apartment.  he was sooo very proud of this.  at christmas we made dough ornaments and brought him a christmas tree filed with homemade love.  it was a wonderful experience for us, and we have been forever touched by the way richie allowed us into his life, into his world. 

i have many pieces from him and i treasure them all, but this one is different.  this one was the beginning.  

richie's passing was unexpected and shocking to me ... and this necklace brings him back to me.  back to the beginning.  the kindness in his eyes.  the excitement in his face when he saw this on my neck.  
it is the sound of his voice.
it is the work of his hands. 
it is his spirit.
it is his heart.  
it is peace.  on my skin. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

one with one another

when my face
is in your face
forehead to forehead
pulse to pulse


in our own space
we do not see
in our silence
we do not hear

your heart
begins to beat in time
with my heart

i bathe in your breath
and you swallow mine

is where my soul
meets your soul

our spirits dance
in the stillness

and we

Thursday, October 11, 2012

wisdom and truth: the universe according to my 9 year old

my 9 year old:  mommy?  if outer space is infinite, and there's no gravity in space, then how does anyone know if the earth is right side up or upside down?  i mean, who decided that we are right side up?  like on maps and stuff.  whose idea was it to put us that way?

me:  well ... do you think we are right side up ... or upside down ... or sideways?

him:  i don't know.  i mean how can anyone know?  if one person is in space looking at the planet from one way and it's right side up, and another is in space looking at it from another way and it is upside down, the planet itself is still the same.  it doesn't move for each person's view.  so is it right side up or upside down?  who is right?
me:  is there a right?

him:  hmmm.  good question.  i don't think so.  i think it just all depends on how you look at it.  and i think both ways are right.  because to each person it is exactly right to them.  it makes sense however you look at it, from where you are.

me:  what if there are more than 2 people looking at it?

him:  then i think all ways are right.  it's just all about perspective.  you know?

me:  :)  i know ...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

comfort food

guacamole is my #1 comfort food.

this cool rainy fall day seemed the perfect backdrop for making some ... alongside a pot of simmering chili.

after tonight's delicious experience, i felt i would like to share with you ... my successful step by step recipe:

step 1:  make margarita

step 2:  sip margarita while making guacamole

step 3:  eat guacamole while cooking chili

step 4:  put chili in fridge because now i am full.

if i hadn't had a margarita, i might have taken a picture of the guacamole before i ate it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

love refined = grace defined

"find love, refined,
and there too thou shalt find
grace, defined."

-no one said this that i know of, i just made it up and thought if i used the word "thou" it would look like an official quote ...

grace is defined in many different ways.

i have read the definitions and i agree with all of them.

i have also witnessed and felt grace, and i have decided that where grace lives, love lives:  where love is, grace is ...  and where grace is, love is.

when one person gives another grace:  pardon, mercy, courtesy, kindness ... it is an act of love.  lovingness is at the core where that grace is born.

this can be in any context and can occur in any dynamic.  a stranger can give another person grace.  it comes from a loving heart. without love in his or her heart, i don't know that grace would even come forth to be offered.

and when one person loves another, love refined: free from impurities ... one loves with grace.  grace is defined in that safe harbor.  there is no record keeping of wrongs or acts of blame or begrudging.  the loved one knows that he or she is accepted and celebrated completely and without fail.  pardon is given.  with kindness.  with understanding.  no one is expected to be perfect.  those loved are loved for being who they are.  exactly as they are.  because that is pure.  and nothing else is needed.

if love is the umbrella under which two hearts are safe, grace is the pole, connecting the canopy to the hands which hold it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

my hand on your heart

my hand on your heart.
your hand on mine.
my shield all around you
which only love,
and help can get through.
breathe peace in our space.
walk freely.
as i walk with you.
we use the power of our words
only in the direction of truth and love.
we believe in others.
we believe in us.
like water,
soft to touch yet strong enough to move the earth,
i move through you
and fill you
like water finds and fills every crevice surrounding every rock
in the river.
our faith in each other
protects us and guides us.
we step surely.
we love purely.
my hand on your heart.
your hand
on mine.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

love is always in season

who was it that said, "the only thing that is constant is change?"  i thought it was heraclitus, but i googled it and too many names came up ...

what a relief it is to know that this is true!  (not the google part.  the other part.)  can you imagine if nothing ever ever changed?  not ever?
changes come with every season.  and beauty comes with every change.

today i picked up a few of autumn's fallen leaves and as i held them i felt the differences in how they felt against my skin, how they moved slightly with the breeze, how they sounded when they brushed up against each other in my hands.  i closed my eyes and breathed in how they smelled …all different than their life during the recent summer months.  i thought about how these changes come with every season:  for the leaves.  for the trees.  for the grass.  the animals.  on and on and on.   the growth.  the strength.  the new beauty.  the adjustments. …the changes.

i thought of how i can choose to look the other way, refuse to accept and embrace the changes, i could even put myself in  a place that perhaps remains the same and does not offer the transformations and possibilities that come along with a change of season.  it might be easier that way, where everything stays somewhat familiar.  it is much harder to go where there can be difficulty and/or pain along the way ... uncertainty or discomfort ... not knowing exactly how things will look, or what will become of what once was.

or i can choose to find the beauty.  see the possibilities. feel the love. and embrace the change.  it's not my place to stop,  limit, or change the  change that is happening.   just like with my children.  it would be impossible, and ridiculous, to reject their growth, their development, the course they are on.  there is no "favorite age" ... there has been, and continues to be, awe and amazement during every single year.  it is my honor to witness and be a part of their journey.  i would never want to muck it up by trying to control it or change who they are in any way.  every new day i marvel at the gift of now.

this doesn't mean there is never sadness.  

but no matter what is going on in this season of my life, there is always something to be grateful for.
in this moment now, there is far more than i can measure.
there is change.
there is beauty.
there is love.
and love,
is always
in season.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

be still my anxious heart

i grew up in a military family.  like many military families, we moved.  we moved a lot ...  almost every single year that i was in school.  one time we didn't, but then we made up for that by moving in the middle of another year. i went to 11 schools in my 11 academic years before college.

i left a lot of people over the years, and sadly that became the normal way of things for me.  i remember feeling that if i ever had children i would want them to be rooted someplace so they wouldn't have to go through that.  i easily cry when i see people graduating, even if i don't know them, or when i see the bonds of people who have grown up together ... even if it's on television and i know it isn't real, LOL ...  probably even if it's a cartoon.  it's just something i never experienced.  it has always been the case that when people ask me where i'm from, i don't know.

i could go on and on about the different ways in which this affected me, but tonight a couple of those ways are standing in front of me and staring at me like ghosts with no expressions on their faces.

one of these is the way that i became very quick and good at making friends and at taking people into my life.  i simply had no time to waste, and i learned not to bother with what anyone looked like or from where anyone came.  all people were equal friend opportunities to me.  and i jumped right in.  if i waited for something to grow and for trust to be built, i would never have had anyone.  i would have moved again before i had a chance to know what friendship was.  i am still this way in my adult life.   everyone i meet is an equal opportunity friend or value or gift to my life.  and then i go by instinct, i go by feeling. and i dive in.  and i open my true self.  i open my home.  i open my heart.  i am transparent and i feel free to start out by being me.

the other of these ways is that i separated from a lot of people.  and it always ripped me apart, to part with anyone.  i learned that even with the best of intentions, and promises that we would always remain as close as we were that day, eventually ... i would lose them.  it was only a matter of time, and it was only life.  it wasn't anyone's fault.  they were not to blame, i was not to blame, the military was not to blame.  i got used to it.  that isn't to say it stopped hurting.  i just somehow adapted.

like everyone else, i have lost people who have passed away, and some who have drifted in and out of my life, but tonight i have that familiar sadness of losing someone to a move ... yet unfamiliar because of different circumstances ... and i am not the one leaving ... but i feel that same fear of loss, and the breaking feeling of something like when you rip a piece of paper and then put it on top of itself and rip it again, and then put those pieces together and rip again, and again, and again.

i do believe that we are all connected, and that through space and time we remain together.

yet my heart hurts and it is through a physical ache in my chest and tears and sticky mascara laden eyelashes that i can barely see to write this, because someone so close to me will soon no longer be in my daily world.  or at least it feels that way.  someone who changed my life.  someone i love, in a true heart to heart, human to human, spirit to spirit, #thispersonissuchagoodpersonicanhardlystandit  kind of way.

do you know the feeling of when someone passes away, the sky looks different the next day ... the air looks different ... things sound different wonder how anyone in their right mind can be going through the McDonald's drive thru and laughing and listening to the radio ...  it's a change like that.

i know that everyone is on their own journey, and each person walks their own path.  i am happy for this person's path, no matter where it goes, i am proud of each step and overjoyed knowing of the adventure that lies ahead.  i know peace is there.  i know it is right.  i know it is true.  and i wouldn't want it not to be.

still i lay myself down tonight with eyes that hurt,  a heart that's heavy, and a soul that sighs.

it's just a move, a relocation, and as my oldest son says, "at least nowadays mom you have email and text and skype and facetime and google hangouts..."

and as my youngest son says, "remember what you said mommy.  at the end of the day, my heart looks like your heart..."