Mind, Body, Spirit Connections

Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30, 2011

Chin Hairs~

I am sorry to disappoint my readership with a blog on this last glorious day of April 2011 with a diatribe on chin hairs.

Please forgive me~

I'm not precisely sure in which year these incredibly dark, black chin hairs began appearing on my "chinni chin chin", but rest assured they have become a major pre-occupation of mine. I don't see them because I am half blind, but I sure do feel them when I run my fingers (daily) across my chin. I bee line into the bathroom, pull out my mirror with a magnification of 10, grab my deluxe tweezers and pluck with a furry!

OK, confession time, I am avoiding~

I cannot stand to watch what is happening in Tuscaloosa, AL and in the other states hit by tornadoes. My heart breaks. The devastation and loss of life is hard to comprehend. I send prayers. I wish I could be there helping in some way.

I know that my prayers are most helpful~

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011


I must admit, I am preoccupied. My daughter has brought home two teenage boys. This is a first. I'm trying to be the cool mom, and I must brag, doing a pretty good job of it! I played "not-interested" and pretended that Zoe lying on her bed with two young males (clothed, I might add) did not bother me in the least.

I even left them for a couple of hours to walk on the beach with Andy.

When I returned, they were ready for me to cook. I love that! Burgers on the grill, chips and sodas. It is all so American. And, yet, I know my daughter's angst. One of these guys is a young man she has been interested in for her entire Junior year. He has a girlfriend. Zoe and him are best of friends; that's it. But I know my Zoe wants it to be more.

She won't intrude~

She will wait.

And watch, and hope that things shift..she is her mother's daughter~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28, 2011

The wrath of mother nature~

The pictures and amateur videos shown on TV and the Internet are horrifying. Over 269 dead from a string of 137 tornadoes that cut a path of destruction through the South. The aftermath looks strikingly similar to the Tsunami that struck Japan in March. And the residents wandering the litter strewn streets of their decimated neighborhoods look just as dazed and in shock as our neighbors in Japan.

When I look at these scenes of utter destruction, I am overwhelmed. Entire neighborhoods gone -- family friends, and neighbors dead.  How does one begin to pick up the pieces? I am sure most are still in shock, and unable to quite comprehend what has occurred.

Thousands have just experienced what maybe the most devastating loss of their lives. While we can re-build homes and neighborhoods, and buy new things, it is difficult to move through traumatic loss. If you have loved ones who have been impacted by the tornadoes, or if you have lost a loved one, please know that there are trained professionals who can help and traumatic loss programs in your community.

Lets keep all those impacted by the tornadoes in our prayers~

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011

"The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white.
Neither need you do anything, but be yourself."


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011


My mother loves flowers and was an avid gardner. Fresh cut flowers, artfully arranged in colorful, beautifully shaped bottles and vases, were found in just about every room of the house when I was growing up. As the Alzheimer's disease progressed, and mom gardened less, she would purchse bunches of Alstraemeria.

You can find them in Publix (or any other major supermarket), three bunches for twelve dollars, in beautiful splashes of color. I have just returned from Publix with two bunches and have arranged five vases. I love to place small vases in the bathrooms, on bedside tables, in the living room, on the kitchen table and window. You never know where a little glass vase of Alstraemeria will show up.

When my mom had to be placed in a nursing home, dad took over the purchasing, arranging, and placing of the Alstraemeria in our family home. There is not a time I visit, that I don't see vases upon vases of these sweet flowers. My dad is diligent too. After five days, he changes the water, clips an inch off the stems, re-feeds them with plant food to ensure the flowers hold their vitality another seven days.

I think dad keeps these vases filled with Alstraemeria to keep my mother's presence alive in the house; so he doesn't feel so alone and is reminded of her. It's funny, but I think my weekly Alstraemeria run to Publix, and the joy I find in placing the vases, is connected to my mother and her spirit. I delight every time I glance upon these fragile, beautiful flowers.

And, I always think of my mother~

Dad leaves tomorrow where he will resume his almost daily visits to be with my mother. I have no doubt, that within 24 hours of his return home, there will be fresh Alstraemeria in all the vases. He will also bring Alstraemeria to mom's room, lovingly arrange the flowers, and place them where she can appreciate their beauty from her bed.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011


My mother gifted me a beautiful book of poetry on my 30th birthday entitled The Enlightened Heart,  An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, edited by Stephen Mitchell.

The absence of my mother on my 50th birthday celebration is acute. I know, somewhere within her heart and mind, she is attuned to the fact that her olderst daughter turned 50. I feel her love. Were she not ravaged by the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease, I know she would be here.
I often turn to this sacred book of poetry and want to share a poem with you and my mother this evening.

Love flows from God into man,
Like a bird
Who rivers the air
Without moving her wings.
Thus we move in His world
One in body and soul,
Though outwardly separate in form.
As the Source strikes the note,
Humanity sings-
The Holy Spirit is our harpist,
And all strings
Which are touched in Love
Must sound.

     Mechthild of Magdeburg~

Thank you mom for the many gifts and blessings you have given me~

Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 24, 2011


Easter is one of those holidays that holds significance and different meanings for many. For me, my family and the simple joys of being together is the highlight of Easter. It is a reminder of what is most precious.

My son is back from college, my father flew in from CT to surprise me, my son Earnest and his daughter, Peaches, are here as well as my friend, Lynne. Bodies were strewn all over the place last night; every bedroom, couch, and futon was filled with loved ones.

Waking up was magical for me anticpating how the morning would unfold.  I had Easter baskets for each of the kids and waited hours for them to wake -up! Lynne, Andy and I hid the eggs early, giggling at our "obvious" hiding places.

Peaches was hysterical as she found each egg and "tossed" them into the basket her daddy held. I watched the three adult kids, Max, Zoe and Earnest, follow Peaches around-- coaching, encouraging, laughing -- truly loving the egg hunt!
I was taken back 16 years to my kid's first egg hunt. My dad and I bantered back and forth about our "memories" of notorious Easter egg hunts between my sisters and me. We were not so delightful! Max and Zoe jumped in with their memories of egg hunts. Funny, they recalled some "not-so-delightful" moments.
I paused and smiled in remembrance and appreciation of the importance of tradition and the gratitude of having my family together sharing another Easter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 23, 2011


I do not like surprises. My husband and family know this. In fact, I can go to great lengths ruining a surprise, so as not to be surprised. Obviously, this behavior is rooted in deep, pathological events that I will not even venture to go into at this moment!

So, I KNEW that my Andy was throwing me a not-surprise party today! My family, friends and neighbors coming over to celebrate my 50th -- I am elated. The plan was for my friend Lynne to take me away for a couple of hours this afternoon so that Andy could get ready.

Little did I know!!

When I walked in the house, there was my father sitting on the couch!!!!!  I just cried in disbelief and joy.

I was so surprised. Maybe surprises are not so bad.

Happy Easter Everyone~

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Mother Earth~

Today is Earth Day 2011 and a day to celebrate this wonderous planet.

Last couple of days I've been writing about our earth not knowing that today was Earth Day! I love how that happens.

Did you know how Earth Day Started?

The following piece is written by Sandy Sandler about One Man’s Persistence~

"Earth Day is one of those remarkable holidays! It is remarkable because it started with one man’s vision and grew into something that is recognized and respected globally. Senator Nelson, Founder of Earth Day, was perplexed and bothered that the state of the environment was not an important issue in politics. How could the conservation of our planet not be at the forefront of everyone’s mind and hearts?

In 1963, Senator Nelson persuades John F. Kennedy to make a nationwide conservation tour. And though, President Kennedy made several speeches on conservation it drew very little media attention.

Then in 1969, Senator Nelson had the idea to have a “teach-in” on the environment. The idea was sparked from the anti-Vietnam War “teach-ins” that college campuses had to protest the war. Nelson wrote letters to colleges and even sent a letter to Scholastic Magazine to tell young students about the special day he had planned.

The grass-roots effort for Earth Day was exceptional and on April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was held. An estimated twenty million people participated in educational activities and community events demonstrating their interest in the environment. Congress recessed for the day so that House and Senate members could speak about the environment and attend community events. Earth Day was a success!

One man’s persistence and dedication to preserving our planet created a national day of conservation.
I am inspired by the history of Earth Day and knowing that one person’s perseverance can create a ripple effect that inspires others to make a difference."

I love this story because it again reminds us that we can and do make a difference. One person, with a vision, and a healthy dose of perseverance can inspire millions. As I wrote yesterday, each and every action you take towards healing the earth does make a difference!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 21, 2011

Healing our mother earth~

After watching this video, imagine holding our earth in your hands. Visualize golden white light swirling and encircling the earth, feel her soak in and absorb deeply your healing light. See the toxins and poisons dissolving, and her injuries healed. Feel her joy and gratitude.

Allow your heart to fill with love and gratitude for what our earth gives us daily~

Hear the birds, smell the fresh air and scent of flowers, feel the breeze on your cheek, and admire the trees that provide oxygen and shade~

In this space of awareness, look around at your home, your lawn and gardens, and the community that you live in. Where could you be helping the environment more? Are you recycling, buying green household products, minimizing use of paper, styrofoam, and plastic? Can you reduce the use of gas and oil? Is there an area in your community that needs attention? Trees planted, or garbage picked up?

What are the things that each of us can do to make a difference? Our healing intentions, prayers and actions will change our current course of destruction.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011

Pray for Mother Earth~

I have experienced intense dreams since childhood. Over the years, I have learned to pay attention, especially to the ones that I can not shake upon awakening. It feels like I am still in the dream state and it takes hours for me to be fully awaken and be here in this reality.

I know we have been inundated with books, articles, videos, emails about the earth changes and doomsday predictions. Many have become "numb" to it, and others don't care, and still others perpetuate and fan the fires of fear to keep people paralyzed and unable to access their own power to change what is.

In my dream, I watched how our beautiful planet was going to cleanse herself. It does not leave room for us. I am not an alarmist nor do I live in fear. I am also practical. We are killing our planet, and in so doing, ourselves.  We are literally poisoning ourselves and our earth.

Bolivia, understanding the necessity of protecting our earth, has written "The Law of Mother Earth, the world's first piece of legislation to grant the planet absolute protection against those who would seek to exploit or destroy its resources or ecosystems.

The new law establishes 11 new rights for nature. They include:

the right to life and to exist;

the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air;

the right to balance;

the right not to be polluted;

and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered"

Please include in your prayers for others, your family and yourself, a prayer for our earth. We must wrap her in light and send healing. As the little Australian girl asked of her teacher:

“Hey miss, do YOU really believe we can heal the world one prayer at a time?” My response; “ABSOLUTELY”. She got a distant look in her eyes and her response back to me so quietly I could barely hear it was “I do too!”

We can heal our world one prayer~

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011


Ok, it is confession time. I've been home slightly more than a day, and I am exhausted! What is it about going on vacation and coming home five pounds heavier, and thinking you can just jump right back into the swing of things?

Another illusion~

Maybe it is the contrast of "vacation" versus "real" life. But, lets be honest, I left one paradise to return to another. That blows that theory out the window. I think it is something more sinister.


I think I should be able to jump right back into work, chores, and daily life and not miss a beat. These are "old" messages that no longer serve me. No "shoulds".  I must pay attention and respect what my mind, heart, and spirit is telling me. Today, I laid down for a nap at 3pm. I didn't really nap as I am not one who knows how to nap. But, I tried!

There was a brief, glorious moment, when I let go and fell into some type of slumber. Zoe came home, woke me up, and then the "shoulds" started tumbling in.

"Jen, you haven't seen Zoe in days. Get up and spend time with her. Make homemade spaghetti sauce with her like you promised."

Ok, confession time, I was "should-ing" myself. I got my lazy 'ol body out of bed, and made spaghetti sauce with Zoe.

I loved every minute of it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

"Who does that?"

My daughter is a rule follower. I am not! I'm not sure how I raised this child, nor am I going to take credit. She is special.

So, a few days before she flew off to Indiana to surprise her friends at prom, Zoe "asked" me if it was ok for her to "party" on prom night.

"Who does that?

I am acknowledging the parent quandry here. I appreciate her being honest. I really do. But, she is also asking me permission to break the law. What is a mother to do? Especially one who grew up in the sixties and seventies. It was much different then! We didn't ask permission. Heck, we hid, snuck, lied, and prayed that our parents were intoxicated themselves.

I love my daughter's honesty. I love the fact that she assured me that she was in a safe haven, would be careful, and had the best of friends looking out for her.

I'm not comfortable with the implicit permission. But,  I treasure the fact that we have such an open relationship. And I admire the honesty and lack of deceit in my daughter that certainly was not present in me at her age.

Better to sleep in awareness than ignorance~

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17, 2011


No, I am not talking about the magestic bird that soars in the sky with its distinctive cry. I am talking about a little white ball that found its way into a little tiny cup on a par 5 today at White Witch, a breathtaking golf course in Rose Hall, Jamaica.

(WARNING: If you don't golf, the rest of this will bore you to death)!

I thought I had experienced my golf highlight of this Jamaica trip when I birdied the signature hole at White Witch on Friday! An eight iron off the tee, hit perfectly (I might add), to land 5 feet from the pin. I made the putt for the birdie. I was whooping it up, as you can imagine.

Today, we went back to play again. There was nothing stellar about the first four holes; a double, bogey, bogey, and an eight on the fourth hole! Ugh. Then we came up to the second par five. Andy hit a great drive. I hit a GREATER drive -- 250 yards! Our caddie was laughing. He said, "Ok, mon, just hit it up there to the left, against the second mound and let it roll to the green." (Yah, right). I choose a club I knew I could hit, but also knew it wouldn't get there. It was not pretty, but that "dang" ball hit that mound and rolled right onto the fringe of the green.

On the green in two on a par five!!!

Ok, I would be lying right now to say I was just happy with that! Never mind anything else. But, the word had already escaped from the lips of our caddie....."Eagle". No way. I was facing a 55 foot putt, and the people behind us were waiting. Anyone who golfs knows this adds to the anxiety.

Fabian, our caddie, lined up the putt for me. "Just hit it here, mon." Ok, I thought to myself. And then promptly hit the ball a foot right of where he told me. Time was suspended, as we watched that damn little ball roll towards the cup....and then right into it. I did a backwards roll -- several times!! I didn't give a hoot about the people behind us.

This was my first par 5 eagle!!

Needless to say, it ruined the rest of my game. But, I didn't care. I just held onto that moment of elation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16, 2011

Jamaica "mon"~

I am officially fifty! Life on the Island is good; almost surreal. We awoke today to the sun rising, and when I glanced at the clock, I thought I read 8:57am. It was only 6:57am...we gained a whole two hours by my inability to see!

That just made my day~

The moon is rising now, music is playing, and we are relaxing before dinner. It has been a wonderful birthday and celebration of my 50th year.

These are the moments when you sink into gratitude. How wonderful to be alive, healthy, happy, and with purpose. As I stare at this absolutely amazing almost full moon rising through the clouds, with a halo surrounding it, I am so thankful for my family, friends and health.

May you all take a moment to reflect on your blessings~

Friday, April 15, 2011

April 15, 2011

My birthday gift~

As if being in Jamaica with my incredible husband was not enough, I opened my email/fb to countless birthday wishes and I feel so loved. Thank you all for your love~

I opened an email from an extraordinary woman in Australia, Joanne Dae, who knew immediately the power of the Intent Heals Journal  and how this would impact her students at the Catherine McAuley school. Last November, she ordered 500 journals for her students and staff. It has been a long journey -- the journals being held in customs for weeks and weeks while they radiated the biological plant material in each journal. Needless to say, Joanne had to reassemble each and everyone of those journals!

Three week ago, she gave her students a journal. The following email describes the impact the journals had on her students. With tears of joy, and incredible gratitude I share this with you. Thank you Joanne for such a wonderful birthday present. And, thank you, Lisa and Sally for embarking on this journey with me. I hope you know what a difference you have made in the world.

Hi Jennifer,

I have been very tardy getting back to you. It has been a very hectic time here and I find myself spending 14 hours a day at work and still not getting everything done. Perhaps I am getting less efficient in my old age!

The journals were given to my Yr 9 girls 3 weeks ago now and they went out to the Year 12 girls when they completed their semester 1 exams; just last Wednesday. To say they were a huge hit with both groups is an understatement. The Yr 12 Coordinator told me the girls just adored them and were very moved when she showed them the video clip on your website about the story behind the journals. They were also highly impressed about the process used to make them and how it sustains the poor and the refugees. Our students are very concerned about social justice so this really struck a chord.

My Year 9 girls were absolutely amazed with their journals and I have had so many of them tell me how much they treasure them. I have even had dozens of phone calls from parents telling me how much their children appreciate the journals and how often they see them writing in them and praying with them. The most satisfying thing for me is to see some of the students I would never have expected being so moved and using their journals. One of my girls who has told me several times she is an atheist has written in her journal regularly and her mother told me she saw her praying the prayer just like the picture on the card and she was moved to tears herself as she had not seen her daughter do this for many years. I think the fact that it is very spiritual rather than simply religious has made a big difference for some of the students. One lovely story is from a parent who told me her daughter was bullied terribly in elementary school and the child showed her mother that she wrote down the names of the bullies in her journal and prayed for them. The parent was in tears telling me that for the first time, her daughter has laid all that to rest and has actually said she feels sorry for the bullies who are “so unenlightened” (how precious is that from the mouth of a 14 year old). A few parents have asked about where they came from and I have directed them all to your website and told them to read the cards inside the journals. I have also made it clear they can order journals for their organisations from you, so here is hoping. Because we are on Easter break for a week, I don’t have access to the photo’s; they are on the school camera but I promise I will attach them to an email and send them off to you when we return. It was very remiss of me not to do it before. I did think about it several times and have even got a reminder in my electronic calendar so there is no excuse. However, you can be very sure that the students adored the journals and I have even had staff ask about them. I am not telling staff they are all getting one on the Spirituality Day in July as I want it to be a surprise for them.

So, there you have it. I am not at all surprised about the reaction from the students as I knew they would treasure these journals but I was surprised at the response from parents who are equally enthralled and of course delighted that they seem to have reached some of the students who are highly disaffected with the Church and all things ‘religious’ at the moment. You have really made a difference on this side of the world and I know that will make you feel very good about your little journals making such a difference. I will finish with a question a student asked me about a week after I had given the girls their journals “Hey miss, do YOU really believe we can heal they world one prayer at a time?” My response; “ABSOLUTELY”. She got a distant look in her eyes and her response back to me so quietly I could barely hear it was “I do too!” A truly precious moment in my 24 year teaching career and one that will stay with me forever.

Enjoy the moment Jennifer because you have made a real difference in the lives of some young people here in Australia.

Many blessings and with so much gratitude,


God bless you Joanne, for you have made a huge difference in the world!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011


One of my favorite works is The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. The following passage on Love best describes my journey to this moment.

Then said Almirtra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon
the people, and there fell a stillness upon
them. And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to
Though the sword hidden among his
pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in
Though is voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he
crucify you. Even as he is for your growth
so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and
caresses your tenderest branches that quiver
in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and
shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred
fire, that you may become sacred bread for
God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you
that you may know the secrets of your
heart, and in that knowledge become a
fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only
love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover
your nakedness and pass out of love's
Into seasonless world where you
shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes
naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say,
"God is in my heart," but rather, "I am
in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course
of love, for love, if it finds you worthy,
directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil
But if you love and must needs have
desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook
that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own under-
standing of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart
and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate
love's ecstacy;
To return home at eventide with
And then to sleep with a prayer for the
beloved in your heart and a song of praise
upon your lips.

It has taken me fifty years to walk fearlessly into love's beckoning arms, naked and vulnerable, trusting that I reside in the sweetness of God's heart.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011


I am surrounded by magnificant women. Everywhere I turn, there is a woman reaching out; loving, nurturing, sharing, and spreading joy. This morning, at yoga, a present awaited me from a lovely, caring friend. I arrived home to six birthday cards -- each expressing a special message. I opened my email to friends expressing their love and birthday wishes. My daughter, Zoe, came home from work with a beautiful pot filled with flowers that she had arranged and planted herself. My daughter, Kash, gave me a Willow Tree, entitled "With Love" -- she is on my desk, with her arms extended, holding a heart.

How lucky am I?

Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. My life is filled with Aphrodites', women who embody love and beauty, and emanate love to all those they embrace. I am filled with gratitude and joy. As I say goodbye to my 40's and welcome my 50's, I cannot help but pause, and ask "How did I get here?" This journey of mine has been miraculous.

With open arms and heart, I embrace each of you~

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 12, 2011

We have a guest writer today. What a wonderful blog - thank you!

The Power of Snail Mail~

I believe in old-fashioned letter writing. I think it is a lost art, and it makes me sad that so few people really correspond with one another anymore. I receive and send plenty of emails and stay in touch with friends, old and new, but only one of my old friends really “corresponds” by letters that I receive in US Mail…known these days as “snail mail.” Seeing her letter is like finding a diamond amid the debris of junk mail and bills.

For 30 years we have written letters to one another at least twice monthly. We have shared everything in our lives…divorces, lovers, second marriages, sickness, problems with our children, spirituality, but most of all the joy of friendship and commitment to keeping our letters coming to one another. I used to save her letters, but now I just keep all of her words of encouragement in my heart. She has inspired me to pay it forward by sending notes of encouragement to many other people in my life. I have been amazed at how much a few positive words can mean to another person.

Recently a dear family member faced a serious health challenge. I received many cards which were so heart-warming and welcome and made me feel loved. I received a very special letter from a friend offering her love, friendship and service to me in my time of fear for my loved one. Receiving that letter and the many cards was a healing in itself. This only reinforced my belief that “snail mail” is a precious gift.

How about sending someone some “snail mail” today….you just might change a life.


Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Mama Bear~

I'm still amazed at how easily I can slip into the "protective" mode. Tonight, without notice, I found myself in a defensive posture defending  my child. From the perspective of everyone present, I was "defending" a belief, a way of being in the world -- a path that I deeply believe in. A path of faith, love, and embracing all that is, regardless of how it might "appear" in this reality.  Unfortunately, my vulnerability of exposing raw emotions, coupled with being "unheard",  created a Mama Bear!

I know this to be true. We are complex creatures; not perfect, but a blend of dark and light. It is pure foolhardiness to think that we are not capable of acts, that some would term, "evil". If someone were to enter my home and try to harm my children, I would defend. I might even kill, if circumstances warranted.

I would then try to forgive myself. I would also try to forgive the perpetrator (eventually). Forgiveness is not on demand. It is not something in our control. I believe it is grace that finally allows us to forgive. It is the intention to forgive that invites grace to enter.

We are not perfect. We can only open our hearts, be vulnerable, accept what is, and center into the grace that pervades our life. Mama Bear was out tonight, on her hind legs, protecting a wound unhealed in the face of what she perceived was disrespect.

Mama Bear has since settled, licked her wounds, and wrapped herself around her baby bear. It is all good.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011

The Agony of Defeat~

The power of the mind is truly something to be hold. Andy and I have been following the Masters for the past four days, inspired by the brilliant playing of Rory McIlroy, just twenty-one years old. He led all three rounds, until today.  He was the leader through 10, and then fell apart.

This is when the 5 inches between the ears came into play!

We agonize and empathize for this young man. The pressure on him has been unbelievable. He had a moment when he crumbled on his driver, knowing it was all over.

This game of golf humbles you like no other game I've played. One moment you are striking the ball perfectly, and then the next you are watching the "stupid" little ball dribble 80 yards to the left (that was your drive)!

The way a golfer plays the game reveals much about who s/he really is.  Conduct is paramount.

A Zen student went for an interview with his master.The studnet said, "I know this may require a very lengthy and complex answer, but I request guidelines for conducting myself wherever I am, so that my attitude and behavior are always excellent."
The master said, "Actually, the answer is quite brief and simple: In every situation, conduct yourself as if your five-year old child were watching you."

Rory, your five year old will be proud of you (when you have one)! I, on the other hand,  have a lot of work to do!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

April 9, 2011


I was married to Andy exactly 6 months ago to the hour. Six months of bliss I might add. We have been celebrating all day, and I have openly declared us "dorks." I came home from a walk on the beach to 6 beautiful white roses and a card. I'm taking Andy out tonight for a romantic dinner at an Italian Restuarant.

As I walked on the beach this afternoon, I was in a state of bliss. So happy! A young man playfully threw a football at me. How delightful (I actually caught it!)  As I was smiling about this interchange, a little boy, perhaps five at the most, holding a skim board  looked at me and said, "Perfect conditions, don't you think?" His presence, sense of self, and clarity struck me and made me pause. "Yes, they are," I responded. Then I looked down at his skim board...it was a black and white yin/yang symbol!

Ah, God's presence is everywhere ~

I encourage all of you who are reading this blog to take a moment and ask where is God speaking to you? Is it a Cardinal who crosses your path and reminds you of a loved one? Is it a glance or gesture from your husband, wife, partner, daughter, son or friend that captures your heart? I believe that we must be in the present moment, fully awake, and open to the messages that are being sent to us by our carnate beings.

Are you awake?

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 8, 2011

Prom Night~

My daughter is going to prom tonight. I met her at the "wall" in New Smyrna beach, a well know spot and apparently "the" spot to take pictures. 

I was there with camera in hand. Zoe was BEAUTIFUL!! Yes, I know. I am completely biased...I'm her mother, so of course...but, she is beautiful, glowing in the setting sun and so happy to be going to prom.

And, now I worry. Because I am a mother. She is driving. It's prom. I don't know. Perhaps I am thinking about my prom night. It was different then. I must let go and surrender.

I will be up all night. I will call Zoe at 1am -- the time I have been given when prom is over.

It's going to be a long night~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7, 2011

Our company is gone~

We love our family and friends. Moving to Florida is an open invitation to visit; an unspoken, widely accepted practice that can last three years or more. So I've heard.

No way!

Seriously, I want my family and friends to visit. I love being with them. But, we have had non-stop company for the last three weeks.


Andy and I met outside on the porch, with a drink in hand, the Master's on, and toasted to the silence. We watched the last 6 holes played, looked at each other and said...."what are we waiting for?"

I'll leave it to your vivid  imagination. All I'm saying is "Thank you God!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 6, 2011

Cashmere = Kash~

I am paying extra attention to the last 10 days of my 49th year. Each day is an opportunity for reflection, honoring the past, and celebrating where I am in this moment. I am celebrating today and my daughter, Kash.

My husband's daughter, Kash, has been visiting us this week. Kash is short for Cashmere, with a "K" rather than a "C" so no one confuses the meaning with something substandard like "cash". Kash is Cashmere. Any woman lucky to own a few sweaters made of 100% cashmere will know what I am talking about.  Luxuriant wool, a silken feel and feather-light weight that feels incredible against the skin. Cashmere's appreciable status makes it highly desirable.

Yet, cashmere hails from humble beginnings. Cashmere is the wool or fur from the Kashmire goat. My daughter, too, came from humble beginnings adopted by two loving parents who were unable to have a child of their own. Her story is bittersweet, and her journey has not been an easy one. I've been careful; knowing deeply that this young woman did not need one more disappointment or heartache in her life.

I've waited four years for this luxuriant cashmere to wrap herself around my shoulders. Yesterday, she gave me an orchid for my birthday. In her card, she said:

"I got you an orchid because it resembles me because it is delicate to touch and sensitive to what's around me and if you water me too much ("stress") I'll die. So, please, keep this orchid alive, give it a few ice cubes once a week and a little sunshine and everything will be alright."

I will care for this orchid with all my heart. And each time I gaze upon this orchid, I will be reminded of Kash, and how the wait has been well worth it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 5, 2011

 Lessons from Japan~

I'm sitting at my desk staring at two tall stalks of bamboo lost in thought. My mind drifts to Japan and I feel both a sense of helplessness for the people suffering and awe for the way the people of Japan are working together to move through this tragedy. The opening paragraph of an article written by James Baraz, Huffington Post, eloquently desribes what many of us are experiencing as we continue to follow the events unfolding in Japan.

"What's happened in Japan affects all of us. Perhaps, like me, you've noticed a sober backdrop of stunned sadness that's been pervading our collective psyche. If we are to become more conscious human beings then each moment can be taken as an opportunity to wake up. What can we learn so that this tragedy helps us deepen our understanding and become more awake?"

I've taken the liberty of threading together fragments of his article to emphasis how important it is for each of us to live fully in the present moment, with hearts open, and in gratitude.

"The images coming out of Japan not only touch our hearts, they underscore the fragility of life. How can we relate to the unpredictability of life so that rather than living in a continual state of anxiety this truth helps us grow and informs our lives?

Knowing that anything can happen at any time can remind us to wake up and be present for life as it's happening now. Instead of sleepwalking through it, taking it for granted as we fantasize about the future or live in the past, life's fragility awakens us to the precious gift we've been given. When we realize that the only moment there is is the one we are in, we're more motivated to be here for it and honor it with our presence. It becomes a sacred gift worthy of our attention."

Do we need a tsunami to appreciate this gift?

Back in Fukushima, we hear of a team of 50 plant workers struggling to prevent a meltdown to four reactors critically damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. These brave souls are being repeatedly exposed to dangerously high radioactive levels as they attempt to bring vital cooling systems back online. A mother of a 32-year-old worker said: “My son and his colleagues have discussed it at length and they have committed themselves to die if necessary to save the nation. He told me they have accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long-term.”

This is where the awe kicks in. I am in awe of a nation who rather than rioting, stealing, and looting decides to pull together and do what ever it takes to help its people. These men and woman are willingly to give up their lives to save millions of their fellow citizens. The Japanese culture, perhaps from Hiroshima, have elected to reduce their electric consumption in order to assist the victims and allow the country to recover more quickly.

Let this be a wake up call for us. How can we, individually, wake up and be present?  What are you going to do tomorrow that affirms the gift of life? 

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, 2011

First loves~

One never knows what is going to bubble up, or why. When I went into meditation, I was drawn back to my first love. In this remembering, once again I realized how fortunate I had been as a young girl to meet Scott and for him to be my first love. There are layers and details of this story that will not be told, but the important piece is that he was absolutely instrumental in forming the woman that I am in this moment.

Our story did not have a happy ending. I was not the heroine. Quite the contrary, I was the villian -- young, foolish, obtuse and confused. But, not stupid. I knew how special this young man was in my life. He loved me with all his heart, and I loved him deeply.

On my seventeenth birthday, Scott gave me a hand-made jewerly box that I still have with me to this day. It is beautifully made, with a rose inscribed on the top of the box. It was a few years later when I  discovered and opened a secret compartment with the love letter inside.

Scott wrote:

"Chances are that you will never open this compartment and read this letter but I'm going to write it anyway." He goes on to say that this reminds him of the story "The Love Letter." This incredible young man, only twenty at this time, goes on to write:

"If we had 100 lives to live we could take a different path each time but we only have one and we must choose what is best for us to do at the time. I'm writing this because I want you to know that I don't hate you for what happened. No matter what happens or how I act, remember that."

His act of forgiveness in the midst of his pain still astounds me. Sad to say, I remained confused for many years not understanding the depth of his love or what it meant to truly love another.

What is of significance in this moment is the awareness on my part of how his love and ability to forgive has forged who I am today. Like your love letter, Scott, I am not sure you will ever read this, but I hope you know what an impact you have made in my life.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3, 2011

The Road to Freedom~

My son came home from college today with a friend to do their laundry and visit. I treasure these brief moments with Max accepting that he is in a year of transition  - new home, first year of college, and finding himself.

Max loves to push my buttons. For a few years, I didn't catch on and I became quite the "banshee" when he would say some outrageous statement just to make me crazy. He thought it was hysterical and believe me, I gave him plenty of reason to laugh!

Perhaps it is the distance, and not being around Max everyday, that has enabled me to step back with a new perspective and appreciation of his humor and beliefs. I am able to pare down to another level, ask for clarification, and actually have civil debates with him. I don't always agree, but I love observing how his mind works.

He's caught on that he isn't pushing my buttons anymore. This allows space for us to explore a different kind of relationship -- one of mutual respect and sharing of similar passions. Much to my delight, Max has discovered philosophy. One of the first philosophical books I read was Krishnamurti, Think on These Things.  I pulled out my old, worn copy to show Max today. I had forgotten how timeless Krishnamurti's words are.

The following passage caught my attention:

"Whether in this world of politicians, power, position, and authority, or in the so-called spiritual world where you aspire to be virtuous, noble, saintly, the moment you want to be somebody you are no longer free. But the man or the woman who sees the absurdity of all these things and whose heart is therefore innocent, and therefore not moved by the desire to be somebody - such a person is free."

As I absorbed these words again, I realized that my son, Max, was well on the road to freedom. He's a thinker --not afraid to speak his mind, challenge authority (Lord knows), or go against the "popular or accepted" point of view. 

I'm proud of him~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April 2, 2011

Exhausted and peaceful~

I just returned from teaching the Reiki class today. It was a wonderful, warm, loving and inspiring day. Although I am drained physically, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and peace.

Sharing Reiki is a blessing. The woman I taught and attuned are amazing; each on a unique and personal journey.

Dr. Mikao Usui, who discovered and developed Reiki, emphasized  five spiritual principles:

Just For Today:

Do not anger

Do not worry

Be humble (grateful)

Do your work honestly

Be compassionate to yourself and others

Start each day with these five principles and remember... never, ever, "should" yourself!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011

Remembering a friend~

Tomorrow I will teach my first Reiki class in over 7 years. I am thrilled and honored and looking forward to initiating these three beautiful woman to the incredible healing energy of Reiki.

As it has been so long since I last taught a class, I've been reviewing my old Reiki papers, writings, and the symbols. As I sifted through these papers, I found a sticky note on top of one stack with a name and number.


Monica was a beautiful German woman who worked at the Alzheimer's Association in Indianapolis. I was the Program Director and Monica and I became quick friends. She had left Germany as a young girl, both parents dead, and came to live in America with distant relatives. Her life had not been easy. And, yet, Monica was an extraordinary person who had such a light. This remarkable woman showed up to work every day enthusiastic, willing to go the extra mile, and was a joy to be around.

In one of our conversations, she learned that I was a Reiki master and asked me to teach a class. I did for her and a couple of the other staff interested in healing. It was the last class I taught. Monica would ask me to please teach her Reiki II. She loved  Reiki and wanted to learn more. She would gently remind me every three months or so. I promised her I would, but I was TOO busy to make the time...teenage kids, a divorce, and then I eventually left the Alzheimer's Association.

It was not long after I left the Association that I was called and informed that Monica had been murdered. She had gone home to walk her dog during her lunch hour, as she always did, and happened on someone burglarizing her home.

I've never spoken or written of my profound regret that I did not teach Monica Reiki II. It still haunts me. How could I have let this beautiful soul down?

I hope you join us tomorrow Monica. I know you have forgiven me, even if I have not forgiven myself.

I miss you~