my heart looks like your heart

my heart looks like your heart

Sunday, December 7, 2014

my love letter to you,

i know i often tell you that i love you. 
i probably say it way too often. 
you probably know i love you, 
and this letter isn't to convince you or find some other clever way of telling you what you already know.
i just don't think i tell you often enough how much it means to me

that you are honest: 
even when the truth is difficult to hear, your honesty draws me closer to you and makes me admire you even more than i already do.

that you are brave: 
your courage washes over me and bathes me with a renewed trust and faith in you, when it is needed, and even when it isn't needed. not because i think you will never falter, but because your bravery continuously reminds me that even when you do, you are not afraid to stand in the pieces and know that, together, we will put them back … together.  

that you are strong: 
your strength to do both difficult things and every day simple things makes me feel safe and taken care of. knowing i can ask you for help, and that even if i don't ask you will step in and take care of whatever needs to be done, makes me want to be held by both your strong convictions and your strong arms.  you are a visionary. you are a do-er.  

that you are passionate and faith-full:
your passion and your passion for your faith are remarkable and endearing, and remind me of why you are the kind of person that you are. you allow your faith to lead you and in turn you lead others, you lead me, and you lead us. you inspire people.  you give more than you ever consider getting, and you believe in others and in all that is good. 

that you are trustworthy:
knowing i can trust you is like having a blanket of peace that i can wrap around me at any time in any place. i feel protected and able to love you with every part of me, more each day than the day before.  you are the friend i think of and turn to first and last, in-between, and always.

that you are loving:
you are kind.   you are respectful.  you are compassionate.  you have manners.  you are encouraging.  you support me even when my ideas create awkward silence and then laughter or sometimes tears.  you put others before yourself.  you are nice.  not just to me, but to everyone.  you treat others well even when they treat you poorly.  you are positive.  you are optimistic.  you are a believer.   

that you are not perfect:
i love this so much about you, and i know these things i've listed don't always come easily or without awareness or work. i love loving you as you grow and learn and as we grow and learn together. 

that you are a great example:
for my children.

these things are continuous and these things are just a few reasons why i fall in love with you over and over again, every day, sometimes many times in one 24 hour period. 

when i tell you that i love you, i am speaking these and many other things that will never fit into three little words ... eight little letters … 
i am speaking the very breath of my life, 
the gratitude, 
and the faith in which we walk by, 
and only therefore 
do we see. 

i love you …





where enlightenment lives ...

enlightenment isn't just for people who are meditating with mala beads or practicing yoga and eating only organic.

preaching isn't just for people in churches with parishioners or evangelists online with live stream services. 

we can all teach words of wisdom and acts of love. we can all raise the collective vibration. it doesn't matter where we stand, sit, sing, or eat. 

many times the best word we can offer is by living our life and allowing others to actually see us.  

none of those in clergy collars are perfect, no matter how large their congregations are. 

none of those in robes are perfect, no matter how many hours they spend clearing their minds. 

none of those writing self help books are perfect no matter how many times they are quoted. 

and none of us are perfect no matter how hard we try to be nor how hard we work to make it look to others as if we are. 

and i think that's where enlightenment is. 

love is the movement 

and it's not about perfection. 

it's about embracing the imperfect, nodding with empathy, allowing the circle of comfort and sacred peace that enters the space when we admit that we understand the struggles because we, too, struggle. 

it's about holding one another graciously through the battles and honoring the divine in each of us. 

the more we can accept ourselves with both guts and glory, 
the more compassion we will have towards others, 
and the more compassion we have towards others, 
the more this world can become its own healing place.

be who you are

some people work so hard at not being who they are.
and many of us have had times in our lives when we sacrificed who we were for what we thought we needed to be.
my son wrote this in his gratitude journal when he was 8 years old. 
i have printed it and hung it by the bathroom mirror as a reminder for us each morning and each night.
i appreciate the misspelling. it's who he was when he was 8.
the truth is it's about all the things that make us who we are. 
it's not about perceptions, assumptions, or facades. 
it's not about compromising who we are for the sake of anyone else. 
experiences with people who do not know who we really are ... are not true experiences for either party.
every day that you live falsely is a day you sacrifice yourself and your freedom to give, have, feel, love, and be loved, as only you can.
be you.
be love.
be happy.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

paying for my freedom

i have recently seen a video explaining the feelings and experiences of a child of divorce. the video is entitled (i think) “Letter from a Child of Divorce.” i know the experiences of the video are all too real, and they break my heart. they paralyzed me for a long time as i researched as much as i could get my hands on regarding the emotional intelligence of children and those going through divorce, and how to address the concerns/feelings/fears that children have, by going to the source and learning directly from the interviews and answers of children who have been through it. i was, and am, determined to counter every one of those issues and proactively meet those needs for my own children, so that they will not carry the pain and trauma that so many children do. i am writing to share my story in hopes of educating and inspiring people with proof that divorce does not have to equal disaster. it is the responsibility of us as parents. it is never ever the responsibility of our children. our children must remain our priority.
i’m honored to be featured as the Truthteller today at www.womenforone.com.www.womenforone.com
i'm in good company with Panache Desai, don Miguel Ruiz, Marianne Williamson, and 100s more.
what i've shared here is one small step in the process, and i have written and am writing follow up pieces to expound on this experience. … they will be coming soon and i hope you will read them. if not for you, maybe they will help someone you know.
i am also writing for Lightworkers World about this experience in terms of moving through difficult major life transitions with only love and lovingness in lieu of ego and competitive angles.
it really is possible
to do all things with LOVE
  


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

love is the movement

i have come to terms with the fact that i have been an enabler for possibly my whole life. 

i have enabled people to hurt me
more than once 
and to think it's okay 
simply because i seem okay
or because i "make things" okay
and make excuses
and misplace pain
either to avoid conflict
or because somewhere along the way i was told or thought i must be at fault,
or both. 

i am no longer enabling others to walk across my soul with bitter tongue and careless feet. 

love guides me
with determination 
to make sense of things 
and to be open 
to understand and allow for growth 
it also guides me to draw the line and look out for my life
like a weight inside my body that leans me towards
and into
what is good for me
a compass that keeps me headed in the right direction. 

the only enabling i am willing to do now
is enabling myself
to follow love
and enable other lovers
to hold my hands.  

LOVE is the movement. 
walk with me ...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

YOU are the one to make it happen



one of the things i have learned is that we have the ability to write our own story. 
i want to encourage you not to be afraid to make things in your life become the way you want or need them to be for you. 
believe in your vision and know that you can see it come true. 
someone else's story that doesn't align with what you want to happen in yours? 
that's the other person's story. 
it is wise to learn from it, yet that doesn't make it your story. 
someone else's thoughts, beliefs, advice, and experiences don't become your roadmap or your destination. 
if you have sought and not found a template for your story, be courageous and create your own. 
if you need it, chances are someone else does too, or will, and then maybe yours will be there to help them through their own unchartered territory. 
and even if it is never a blueprint that anyone searches for, it will change the course of those whose lives come after yours. 
remember that it doesn't matter if you can't find anyone who has done things your way. 
what matters is that you can do it your way NOW. 
if you have a vision, believe in it. 
create it. 
if you need it, the world needs it. 
someone has to do it. 
why not you? 
if it is your vision, it is because YOU are the one to make it happen! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

my second skin


my second skin,
you cover me
as i lie sometimes impatiently
against your surface
yet inside you
pressing
yet resting

my second skin,
you heal me
as i heal you sometimes unknowingly
wounded we are both
yet stronger
bleeding through the darkness
yet rising

my second skin,
you connect to me
as i search for source
within and without
yet never leaving me alone
sowing love
yet reaping

my second skin,
my first prayer,
my lasting truth

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

i just am.





not too long ago someone felt it necessary to remind me of how old i am and to tell me that i look, dress, and speak or make choices inappropriately for my age. i understood how this person, or any person, might feel that way. 

many people believe that their position in life or their religious affiliation, what they do or whom they worship, affords them the prerogative to judge, condemn, and to be right in doing so.

the older i get, the less interested i am, if at all, in what you do or have done. the less interested i am, if at all, in whom you worship. what i am interested in, completely, is who you are and how you live out or demonstrate whatever it is you call your faith. judgments don't bother me, they simply let me know who you are.

i admit that i have made mistakes in my life. and i know that everyone else has made some too. i admit that i have also made some stellar choices. and i know that everyone else has made some too.

i am grateful to be in my 40s.

i believe that things are not always right or wrong.
sometimes things just are.

and i am not seeking to be right, nor refusing to be wrong.
i just am.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

love and spirit

when your world is stormy
i feel your imbalance
your unintentional recklessness
and your uncertainty

and my own waters
are troubled 

when your heart is full
i feel your light
your conviction
your purpose
and my own world
is at peace

your turmoil streams underneath my skin
your serenity sleeps nestled in my chest

your fears gather at the back of my throat
your resolve rests gently at the nape of my neck 

your fight 
breathes anxiously in my core
your truth
lives transparently in love and spirit

in the love and spirit
which connects
my heart
to yours 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

honor your connections

i believe in the kind of connections that are made with the courage of vulnerability.
the baring of naked truths
and exposed souls
with no agenda.
the sharing of what we each hold sacred
yet at the same time long to let go of
so that we can watch someone else hold it the same way,
protecting it,
and honoring it,
all the while seeing directly into us
unfalteringly
and unequivocally ...

Sunday, August 3, 2014

why i prioritize genuineness over happiness


i think more important than striving to be happy, is striving to be genuine. 
i think genuineness brings about happiness. 

there is a freedom that holds hands with authenticity,
and once we can live and love, 
genuinely and spiritedly,
i think happiness shows up,
no longer sought after,
just present. 

walk your journey with love and truth.
happiness finds its home in an authentic heart. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

step by faithful step


sometimes people walk onto our path and are suddenly and automatically in step with us.
it is synchronous, and neither one misses a beat as we continue to walk in this unspoken rhythm.
other times they stumble and fall onto our path,
or we onto theirs,
and we help each other up,
dust each other off,
and continue on,
with messy hair and tiny pieces of grass or pebbles stuck into our palms,
only this time when there is less room on the path, it feels expansive and clearer.
and although we are now not walking alone, we feel an encouraging and liberating freedom.
and although we are now both sharing what we carry, and carrying for the other, we feel lighter.
we don't always walk side by side … sometimes they are in front of us, sometimes we ourselves lead, 
sometimes playfully with arms outstretched and one foot in front of the other like we are on a balance beam,
other times in silence and trepidation,
and in trust. 
sometimes our path starts to look different than it did before.
the air can feel different too, and things can sound completely unfamiliar.
we might not even recognize where we are, or even where either of us is going. 
we sometimes cannot tell whether it's our path ... or theirs … 
in our awareness we know we are small yet we are big enough to know that it is not solely our journey.
and when darkness settles in and the stillness wraps around us, we see more than we do in the brightest of light,
we feel more than when we search with open hands,
and we know we are in exactly the right place,
at the right time,
every time.


Monday, July 14, 2014

holy love: our sacred bonds

ho·ly

  [hoh-lee] 
adjective, ho·li·er, ho·li·est.

holy:  having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.

i've been thinking a lot about faith and the automatic confidence we have in our parents when we are young. how we unquestionably take their hand and trust what they tell us.  i suppose this can be good or bad, depending on the situation. but i was thinking particularly about when i was a child, in first grade, and we lived in a small trailer somewhere in georgia. my dad was stationed at an army post nearby and we lived off a dirt road. my mom drove us every day across the state line to take us to a private catholic school in south carolina.  that was the last private catholic school i went to, because our life soon took a different path.  we didn't have much but i didn't know that. what i did have, was security.

not because of religion.
but because of faith.

i remember the day my mom told us that my dad "got orders" and we were moving to europe. i remember crying, and her asking me with a surprised tone, "why are you crying?"

i said, "i'm scared to go on an airplane."

my mom promised me that it would be okay. she said it would feel much like riding on a bus, only smoother. and that at times i might even forget we were moving through the air.

i took her hand and believed without a doubt. both emotionally and physically.  i believed that the plane ride would be okay, and that we would be okay and intact when we arrived overseas, that i wouldn't find myself all alone in a foreign land, not knowing the language, sitting on cobblestone, surrounded by endless streams of busy strangers unaware of my aloneness, myself unable to ask for help and no one knowing i was even lost. 

i put all my 7 years of faith in this one person. 
looking back, i don't know if she was afraid at the time.  it never occurred to me that she might be nervous or anxious about any of it.  i didn't know enough to question or wonder about that. 

i trusted her with my life, my fears, and my rapidly loudly beating little heart.

i think it is sacred, and an honor, when we have moments of faith like that as adults, with people other than our parents. when we can physically and/or emotionally take someone's hand and with all of our being, and our rapidly loudly beating wounded heart, take a true leap of faith, and step where we have never stepped before.

i believe that when we do experience it, our spirit is trusting another spirit,
and it is less like a human bond
and more of a holy bond.



a few years before my first memorable step of faith

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

where you are not

One day you wake up and there you are.




It doesn't happen overnight
when you get lost
in your own home

Among the floors you know so well
that your feet can walk them 
in the pitch dark
to get that single glass
of quiet water
in the middle
of the long still night
that just won't end

Inside the walls that keep you sheltered
and hold you in
from everything
and everywhere
that you seek

Underneath the sounds
of every bruise
blow
and breaking of your spirit
that have stolen your peace
shifted the soil
and changed the terrain
of your soul

Behind the windows you have looked through
for so long
that you no longer see the outside,
only your reflection
reminding you
of where you are

and where

you are not.


Monday, May 12, 2014

pieces of me ... letters to my children

someone recently said to me that she believed in my conviction, in my own belief in the words i spoke to her, because she knows that i always speak directly from my heart.
this person remembered things i had talked about and written about almost a decade ago, which isn't a long time in the big picture of things, i realize this, but it surprised me and i felt honored not only to be her friend, but also to discover that part of me lived inside another person in this way.

also recently i was thinking about how when somebody leaves our side, regardless of reason or circumstance, it is helpful to be able to have something of theirs that is tangible ... whether we hold an item that belongs to them, or have a tattoo as a way of keeping and carrying their permanent presence, or sometimes words that they have written that speak from their heart and live in ours (sometimes both!)

i know that many of us have been in situations where we find ourselves going back and reading things that someone we love once wrote to us.  it is not always possible to define the peace or love that this can bring to us, often during moments when we need it most, in order just to find our very next breath.

i also then started thinking about my children, and when they will be grown and away from me.  and i wanted them to have pieces of me any time they want.  pieces of my heart.  pieces of my spirit.  words that they know come from the very center of who i am.  i decided to start writing something every day, (this is my plan) and consolidate everything in one place.  whatever is on my mind.  random thoughts.  random feelings.  i have set no rules ... i am not a rules person and i don't like being told what to do ... apparently not even by myself!  just something i can give to my boys one day.  maybe they won't want this or need this, and that's okay too.  still i want to offer it because, well, we just never know what life is going to throw our way,
and i know what it's like to feel alone
and need a piece of a person,
when i can't have the whole person,
in person ...







Wednesday, May 7, 2014

when i say i love you ...



when i say i love you 
it means you have someone who
will encourage you
when you feel you have failed,
is proud of you
when you feel shamed,
supports you
when you feel weak,
believes in you
when you are swimming recklessly in doubt,
wants you
when you feel undesirable,
is grateful for you
when you feel unworthy,
wants what's best for you
even when it hurts,
will remind you of your greatness
when you have forgotten your significance,
will heal you
when no one else can even tell that you are wounded,
and understands you
when nothing in your entire world makes any sense at all. 


when i say i love you
it means you have
love without conditions, 
love without limits,
love without fail.

 
when i say i love you
it is not because of what you have done, what you are doing, or what you will do. 
it is because of who you have been,
who you are,
and every single bit of who you are still yet to be.




Saturday, May 3, 2014

celebrate your baby steps!



sometimes in life we take leaps.
sometimes
we take fabulous little baby steps.
celebrate YOUR baby steps
even if you are the only one applauding!

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”  -Harriet Beecher Stowe



to read my latest article:

with photography by Carpe Diem Artography

celebrating our baby steps is on






Saturday, April 26, 2014

sometimes you carry them, sometimes they carry you



when you love others
sometimes you carry them
sometimes they carry you

not like a weight
not like a burden

more like the way skydivers soar together
or children ride piggyback
or spirit guides and guardian angels provide covering ... 


what makes this work
is trust.
knowing you are safe.
knowing you are safe in the heart and hands of another.

sometimes we feel called to be with those we love
when they are grieving
struggling
searching for their breath.

it isn't that we expect them to keep us company
it isn't that we expect them to have anything to give
it isn't that we expect to do anything at all for them.
sometimes it is just to be there.
not to talk.
not to do.
it is about just sharing the same space.
sharing breath when they can't find their own.
just being together.
it's about presence.
it's about love.

nothing more.
nothing less.

love,
and presence.


Friday, April 25, 2014

welcome yourself home


at some point the question arises:
do you like who you are with when you are all alone?

when you realize that you are more than enough ...
when you understand that who you are is exactly as you should be ...
when you accept and *trust* who you really are ...
you no longer need the acceptance of others.
you no longer need the approval of anyone else.
you no longer need to prove yourself
or your faith
or your love.

we are all broken.
we are all learning.

come home to your truth.
and with open arms,
welcome yourself home.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

coincidence? or confirmation ...

it started out with a typical line but went in a direction that i felt was anything but typical.

check out the beautiful words that were spoken to me by a random stranger yesterday.
in a crowded room.
surrounded by hundreds of people.
this man turned and spoke to me.
there was no introduction.
no name.
i only remember he was a large african american man ... i don't remember what he was wearing, his facial features or his scent.
i only remember his eyes.
and these words.

him:  are you from around here?
me: no. you?
him:  no i live in the middle east.
me, nodding: oh
him: if there is something you want to do in your life
if there is something on your bucket list
or anything you feel you must *live*
you need to do it.
you got to!
life is not to be taken for granted.
i don't want to grow old and say to my kids, 'i wish i would've ...'
i don't wanna have regrets.
neither should you.

you take something for granted?
what you been granted gets taken away.
think about that.
i moved to egypt and i go back and forth to kuwait also. i love it there, i went to teach english.
i had to.
i'm just here for a couple of days.
cause even a detour ain't gonna stop me from doin what i was called to do.
from livin and lovin how i'm supposed to.
i love my life.
i had to do it.
had to make it happen and not waste my life.
my life is a gift.
so is yours.

and with a nod and a smile that was in his eyes, not on his mouth, we walked away from each other.


just minutes before this conversation, i had stood in this spot and taken this photo

another example of why i believe in speaking with anyone, anywhere, at any time.  
you just never know ...




Sunday, March 30, 2014

have you ever been judged



have you ever been judged 
by people who don't even know you
yet somehow believe that they are right
and you are wrong, 
based on what they think they know about you
and based on their opinions of what they think they know?

have you ever been lectured
by someone who doesn't know you
yet has made assumptions about you
and believing that those assumptions are true,
thinks he or she knows more about your life
than you do,
more about what you should or shouldn't be doing,
more about who you should or shouldn't be ... ?

or how about by someone who knows you,
but doesn't ... "know" you ...

unfortunately i think most of us have been there at some time or another!

in my experiences, most of the times when this has happened,
it has been by people who are devout christians or strong believers of some faith
which somehow, which i don't understand, 
affords them the illusory position of being better than me,
more capable of determining right from wrong,
and actually powerful enough to pass judgment and condemn me
based solely on the imagination in their very closed mind.

i find it sad that anyone would claim a lifestyle based on love,
yet reject the very act of loving,
and reject another human being,
thereby rejecting the true foundation of religions all around the world.




are we here to judge?
or are we here to learn ...

are we here to criticize?
or are we here to grow ...

are we here to reject others?
or are we here to love others ...