Saving Daylight

I awoke by the sunshine. The beams of light streamed through my window to gently greet me, welcoming me to the day. Rarely do I wake feeling the potential of what the day may bring. Usually, I drag myself out of bed by obligation. Today, I was met with light. Bright, yellow-white light against a bright blue sky. My blinds cracked just enough for me to receive. I read once not to keep the bedroom so dark. They claimed that the natural day/night helped to keep our circadian rhythms healthy. I am now a believer. About a week ago, I was comforted by a full moon which shone its dancing moonbeams from my toes up to my heart. Now today, the light.

As an especially fair, freckled woman, I have had a love, hate, love relationship with the sun. Growing up in a southern state I played and laid in the sun. Summer after summer, I attempted to achieve a “tan,” just so I would look normal, not even dark, just normal. As an adult, I’ve accepted my fairness. Mainly I simply gave up. Secondly, since I’m now older and wiser, the threat of melanoma has convinced me to value myself properly. In between, I’ve enjoyed the rainy days. I’ve taken comfort in what I’ve termed, “the perfectly grey day.” It’s a day with a hue of grey that is not too dark, not too light, simply the goldilocks shade of grey that feels as if I’m safely wrapped in a warm blanket. When I’ve had a big day, I wish for rain. A sunny day would fuel my nervous anxiety, whereas a cloudy, rainy day would soothe me. Fortunately, or unfortunately I live in an area that sees only 160 days of sunshine per year. For reference, Seattle holds 152. It is both a blessing and a curse for me.

My self-discovery and awareness of my wellbeing has taught me that I am more than likely prone to seasonal affective disorder. My fatigue is often worse through February. February is the time when I am worn out, exhausted, and absolutely drained. Although I never mind the shorter days through the Holidays, and you’ve guessed it, I even like it. It brings about a homey warmth, that just wouldn’t be the same if my Christmas was in the Southern Hemisphere. I’m sure those whose holidays are greeted by light find it encouraging and uplifting. Come spring, I’m overdue for light. So, on this morning of Daylight Savings Time, it is very coincidental that light is my teacher.

As with nearly most Sundays, I attend Mass. This morning the light streamed through the stain glass to decorate our souls. Not surprising, the message focused on light. The priest spoke about light and darkness. I was inspired to take notes and share the message. In the dark, our sins are hidden. We hide and protect our wrongdoings. Hiding begets fear. Fear begets hate. Welcome to our current societal climate. Conversely, once when we step into the light, our shame dissolves. We are seen. We are freed from pride’s grasp. Shame and fear no longer hold the power. Nothing is hidden. We are what we are, in all our splendor and deficiency. In the light, we are all seen for our individual truths. In the light, we are forgiven. In the light, we are nourished and loved.

We are all made of darkness and light, a beautiful swirl of yin and yang. In recognizing each other’s faults and gifts we now see how we are much more alike than different. Perfection is now seen as a myth, not a goal. Comparison is now futile. Friends, in the light we are able to both see and be seen. In the light, we are loved and learn how to love. I believe this is where the secret to healing lives.

Whatever my day may offer, I will welcome the light. I will drink it in so that it may radiate through me.  Even if just for today, I will be a light.


Hazards of Marrying a Thinking Woman

Thinking wives are high maintenance. Though, not in a superficial, materialistic sort of way. More so, in the psychological and emotional arena. As a thinking wife myself, I felt it would only be fair to give fair warning as to what marriage may entail if you choose a thinker. Thinking women come with our own set of challenging traits.

Not sure if your woman of interest is a thinker? If she asks you what your life’s plan is, even before you begin to date, she may be a thinker. Museums, art festivals, deep conversations, and traveling may make up the majority, or all your dates. She will enjoy discussing politics, religion, and all things not to be discussed at a dinner party. She will read philosophy text books as if they were written by Dr. Seuss, just for fun, because thinking is fun! She will be entertained by learning and new experiences. New ideas, places, foods, and adventures are her life blood.

She will ask you what YOU are thinking at random with the expectation that you will respond thoughtfully and honestly. Before she asks, she will have judged your facial expressions and predetermined that you are indeed thinking something deeply profound. You may or may not disappoint her when you inform of your thoughts, or the lack there of. It doesn’t end here. She is an asker with an insatiable hunger for truth and knowledge. There’s no intent to offend, but rather to gain insight. She will ask existential questions out of insecurity and/or curiosity. She will thrive on engaging conversations that enlighten and connect. You needn’t take her questions personally. It’s all merely her train of thought.

While enjoying listening to music together, she will bring your attention to the lyrics of the song playing. She may strongly suggest that you listen to the words and notice how they relate to the harmonies. She will then spew out how the song affects her on every transcendent level. Thus, killing any previous enjoyment for the song you once had.

She listens to NPR, or the talk radio of her choice, on road trips. As if that wasn’t enough, she often attempts to discuss the current reporting, Terry Gross interviews, as well as various other fascinating reports. You become drowsy with boredom. You struggle to stay alert enough to navigate the winding country roads. You are certain this will be how you die. She continues to drone on and on; seemingly unaware of the torture she is inflicting upon you.

Your thinking wife will require continuous reassurance of your love and satisfaction, because she’s aware of how the world and individuals are ever changing. Her heightened senses tell her that nothing remains the same. She knows each entity is in a constant state of growth, death, or simple entropy.

She will begin to write or paint at the most inopportune times simply because she must. She has learned that when creativity attacks, it demands to be exercised. It doesn’t matter that there are chores to be done or places to go. She will stop and rip everything to create.

She questions even herself daily. Managing her security may start to feel burdensome. She needs you to listen to her as she processes her day, thinks through a creative endeavor, or wonders about her dreams. She will be her own worst enemy, critiquing her every flaw and mistake. She may become paralyzed by self-doubt and fear. When her world turns cold and unkind, she will turn to you in hopes that you are her anchor and guiding hand. She will look to rest in your arms. If you welcome her, listen, and hold her, it will bring a deeply satisfying peace and comfort to her heart. Just remember she is stronger than she appears. Be careful to not underestimate her. Remain steady and she will find her balance. Give her a place to fall, and she will rise.

As much as she needs to wonder and dream, she needs rest due to her exhaustive thought patterns. It’s a heavy weight she carries, constantly thinking and processing herself and those around her. Downtime is a precious necessity. Allowing it will only serve you.

Her intuition is magically accurate. She will see things differently than most; with more clarity and intensity. You may make the mistake of doubting her senses in the beginning. She will be sure to remind you later of your errors. Save your time, she’s always right about the big stuff.

She will give you her word, her heart, and being wholly with intention and trust.

She will write you love poems and text them to you throughout your day.

She will require a partner to join her for, at least some of, her imaginary and real adventures. She needs someone constant and true, in a world that is anything but, to be her steady.

She will laugh with her whole being and her cry will release the depths of her soul.

She will love you with intensity and purity unknown to you before meeting her.

She knows what she is asking of you. She has placed faith in you, that you are up to the task. She will know you better than you know yourself. She will see your best in you when you can’t. She will hope that you share the same ability. And when you struggle with her, she will understand when it becomes too much. She will believe in “you,” as a partnership, that when connected, is invisible. This why she chose you. She will be no less, and probably even more for you, when you need it all back in return.

So be warned. Ask yourself if you are up to challenge. Are you strong enough to rest your ego from time to time? Are you secure enough in yourself to lend your heart to the woman you love? Are you willing to travel to and from the extreme highs and lows with a woman who feels so deeply, who notices this abounding, beautifully messy life? If you are ever so lucky to find yourself in the presence of a thinking woman, this may be your future. Run, don’t walk into her life. Cast away any facades; no shield, no walls. Put forth your genuine interest and buckle up. Get ready for whatever may come. It may just be the best, most interesting, life changing experience that will come your way.


The Self-Reliance Myth

I was wrong.  I knew I was wrong all along.  I saw doubt’s shadow in the corner.  Instead, I pretended not to see it.  I kept going.  I invested determination and hope that I could not only become self reliant, but that I also needed to be self-reliant.  I wrote about it.  I lived it, and was fairly successful.  I thought I must cut attachments in order to be strong and at peace.  Right?  Can you relate?

I’m approaching the 3 year mark of my father’s passing.  It’s been a hard 3 years.  Grief, health issues, stress, spiritual awakening, burnout, the list could go on.  I find myself here.  Here is where I’m still learning and processing, still building my self.  I’m learning to be still.  I’m learning how to best apply the lessons.  I’m learning that self-reliance, as a rule, is a dangerous myth.

When you begin a lonely period, your instinct may be to separate yourself voluntarily.  Beat them to the punch, so to speak.  You may decide to look inward, using this time for growth.  These were the choices I made, out of survival.  Did they serve their purpose?  Yes.  Did they make it easier?  That I can not answer.  It didn’t make it easy.  In fact, my choices probably further isolated me.

When we are hurt or betrayed by those we value, we may slink back or recoil.  I’m sure there are times when that is truly the best option. I’m also sure that one betrayal doesn’t ensure another betrayal.  Someone does not speak for everyone.  Thankfully, individuality and diversity live beautifully in our present.

We are never alone. We may feel as if we are, and when we do, that is the exact time we must reach out.  It may look and feel like self-reliance, that it’s just another thing you need to do on your own for yourself when you are at your weakest and most empty, but it is not.  This, this is strength.  This is courage.  To ask for help, to seek connection is nothing less than bare naked vulnerability.  You are putting yourself on the firing line, ready to sacrifice yourself, in the attempt or by chance, that you will be saved.  You will be saved.  Ask and you shall receive.

Friends, this is not easy.  It is not pretty, cool, or shiny.  It is not any alluring adjective out there.  It is difficult.  It is raw.  It is ugly.  Growth sometimes hurts.  Although, I’m convinced that ignoring and denying are just as painful, albeit easier.  I’m still learning how to live it fully with authenticity.  It’s an exercise like any other.  It requires practice and patience, and with much repetition.

As humans we are not designed to be self contained beings.  We are pack animals.  We need each other for survival.  There is safety in numbers.  How many you need in your pack is up to you.  Select as carefully as you need to, just select.  We need companionship, especially today when the world is changing in confusing new ways.  We need protection now more than ever.  We need a nourishing connection to come home to.  It’s that connection that fuels and equips us to then pay it forward.  We will all take our turn in the darkness.  The only way out into the light is with each other.

There may be times when self-reliance is a necessary survival tool.  Perhaps, we also need rest, strength, vulnerability, and connection to make a complete set.  Self-reliance, move over, you’re getting some company in the box.

Wise Attraction

Laws of attraction are in full effect and I’m reminded of “Messages Received,” and “Wise Attraction,” as I’m once again feeling those guiding forces. I previously wrote these essays due to receiving signs, messages, or nudges in such synchronicity that made them impossible to ignore. Again, I’m hearing and feeling those messages so loudly at a time when I most need their guidance. Today, my heart filled with gratitude, as my spirit is rejuvenated when I added up all the latest stimuli from the past week.

“Wise Atteaction” is below and “Messages Received” can be found at the given link.

*photo credit by littleposy

little posy

Why now? Why now am I being bombarded by learning of new authors? Why now have I met a new acquaintance who is a writer? That universe….I’m starting to believe that all the new age hype is true. Once you open yourself up to the possibilities, the universe answers. I had always been a doubter. What about those who are suffering abuse, trauma, and illness? Wouldn’t they get better if they only asked? Nonsense.

However, I am beginning to believe that when it comes to self growth and becoming your true self, ask and you will receive. Open your heart, ask, and become.  Repeat as necessary.

God teaches in pain, during recovery, and in joy. He is ever present, asking us to receive Him, his teachings, and blessings. Over the last month, the law of attraction has been in full effect.  This began only after I took a leap out of…

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He Hears It All

Have you ever prayed a half prayer? You know, when your heart whispers it, and your mind only kind of thinks it. You hope God is listening, but maybe not fully. Maybe, you’re afraid to ask. Maybe, you think He is too busy with much more important and pressing concerns such as global warming, political strife, and poverty, to name a few.  Maybe even, you think it’s silly.  Still, something inside you whispers to the Heavens.

This is exactly what I did yesterday afternoon. I had one of those ‘terrible, horrible, no-good very bad days.’* It had me feeling betrayed, disappointed, and disheartened. I was questioning myself, my purpose, lifestyle, and direction. Once again, I felt lost and could feel myself breaking. On my way home, I half-prayed for a change. I had a phone call planned for later on in the evening with someone who I’ve been admiring. While I simultaneously thought about our upcoming conversation and desperately searched my soul, my heart cried out for help, my mind cowered in fear, yet something in me whispered for some help. Quietly my spirit sent the message asking for a door of change to open, if only just a crack.  Any forward movement would be appreciated.  I was just craving for something to affirm whatever this is that’s pulling my heart. Once home, I cried and ate chocolate.  I felt a little better.

The time came for the phone call. I was nervous and still hurting from earlier. The conversation flowed effortlessly. It was helpful and insightful. Bekah Jane Pogue was kind and knowledgeable, just as I imagined her. I was open, in order to take in all of her advice. After we hung up, the words and the ideas we shared began to penetrate. I love a conversation that makes you think long after the talking has stopped. And then I knew. He hears even the whispers. The words, “He hears even the whispers,” echoed.  Almost unbelievably my whispers had been answered with compassion and kindness. From my little whisper-prayer came inspiration, direction, and focus. The End. I went to bed.

Or, so I thought.  The next morning, I woke. Social media addiction led me to check in.  I found Bekah’s most recent blog enrty.  I read about how she is struggling just as I am. She’s just as scared and unsure of all the changes in her lif. Life has her in such a similar grasp, as it does me. She, too, is searching for purpose, security, and guidance. She is unaware that she is fulfilling her purpose, as she understands it to be. I read her words, “Life from death. Breath from bone,” based on Ezekiel 37:4-6. Unknown to her, that is exactly what she gave me in a moment when I needed it most. After I hung up from our talk, I felt relief. I felt space in my heart to keep going.

God heard each of us in our own, unique voice exactly where we were, and proceeded to work his Holy magic. He hears whispers and shouts.

*Quote from the book, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”  Author, Judith Voirst

*Blog post by Bekah Jane Pogue can be found here.

Unheard No Longer

“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories we tell. And this year we became the story.”

Oprah Winfrey

Largely, my voice is unheard. Whether it’s unheard or unheeded, the result is the same. Maybe it’s simply that I’m a mom. No matter the reason, it’s persistence has become increasingly frustrating. I suspect that it has more to do with my gender than my role. So now, I step onto my feminist soap box for a few moments, as I don’t believe men to have this problem as frequently. Within the last 24 hours I have experienced several exchanges in which I was spoken over by men, interrupted by men, or simply ignored in favor of the preferred other male present. To be fair, I was also engaged in a mutual, fulfilling conversation with a male friend that was completely the exception to the others, which only proves that respect is possible. Worse yet, my female friends have also been guilty of this. To be honest, I probably have done the same on occasion. Although out of empathy, I desperately try not to. This made me wonder. As many of us fall victim to this pragmatic plague of ‘manspeak,’ how and why do we, as women, then become the perpetrators? Are we simply hypocrites, or is it more complex? Obviously, I feel that it’s more complex.
I am a white American woman and working mother. I live by all accounts a privileged middle-class life. I am highly educated and employed. I have never been harassed or assaulted in the work place. Overall, do not feel oppressed because of my gender. Although, I did leave my high paying position because my safety was at risk and my voice was not being heard to my male supervisor. He simply could, or would, not relate to my female perception of risk, or my clinical expertise. I chose to leave for another, much lesser paying position. I have experienced loss, but not tragedy. I am blessed, although I may have difficulty fully recognizing this fact on any given day. However, all the blessings and conveniences do not eliminate the fact that we continue to live in a man’s world. We largely follow their rules, conform their norms, and many of us continue to strive to gain their adoration and love through superficial means. How do we begin to achieve equality? How do begin being heard?
It begins with teaching our boys to be better men, and our girls to be better women. It is up to us to lead by example, to demonstrate what true strength looks like, what it means to be kind, and how to be brave. Our fellow men must take part in this metamorphosis. I truly do believe they are ready and willing to move forward with us. Great change and great meaningful moments are often a result of small acts of kindness. Lending a kind ear is sometimes all that is needed.  Change requires learning.  Learning begins with listening. I firmly believe that if we begin to listen to one another, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexuality, or any other societal label, change will not only prevail, but will do so in such a deeply pervasive manner. When we truly listen we not only hear the words of the speaker, but catch the eyes’ cast of a kaleidoscopic rainbow of emotions and sense the history, joy, pain, and needs. When we are heard and seen, we are validated. Disagreement may continue, but we know that we have been heard. We haven’t been ignored or dismissed. Instead, we are honored through human communication and connection.
Once we listen, we better understand and relate to one another. No more dehumanizing, critical attacks are thrown. Once we listen, we begin to see ourselves in the other person. It is then that we will be able to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is then that our children, sisters, brothers, women, and men will feel safe enough, “strong enough, and empowered enough”* to speak their truths. They will do so with safe confidence, because we have taught and shown them; because we listened in every instance and each curve. It starts with listening.
Let’s continue the conversation wholly and fully present. May we freely speak up, knowing that we will be heard, no longer afraid to remain silent in the shadows. Let us continue to share our stories of truth and life with endurance and dignity. Let us live beautifully, creatively, bravely, and most importantly kindly. May we listen to one another to see each other’s experiences. Let’s begin the active art of listening, knowing that it is the vehicle of change. It begins with us. It will continue with them. It will end together.
*Quotation taken from Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech as she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award.  Golden Globes, January 7, 2018

It’s the Holiday Season!

It’s the holiday season. Time for cheer and time for joy. It’s a season of anticipation and magic. It’s the season for gifts and cookies, presents and trees.

And still, today, I feel numb. Halloween through the New Year, has always been my most favorite time of the year. The crisp air, impending snow, and children’s twinkling eyes, have always brought joy to my heart. That is until l lost my innocence when my father passed.

I never understood how and why the holidays brought others such anxiety and scroogery. How and why it seemed that it can bring out the best in some and yet the worst in others confused me. I get it now. There’s a raw nerve that will, more than likely, never fully heal. The holidays deliver additional pressures and stresses tigger that deeply painful twitch until it radiates through every facet of life.

The last couple of years my holidays were riddled with anxiety, despite my best efforts to let go of perfection. I feared the judgement of my loved ones and friends. Now this year, I just feel numbed by the amount of chores that are necessary.

We are not the most organized family, despite my even more diligent efforts. We just aren’t, for a variety of reasons. I’ve tried to decrease our obligations, yet our to do lists are too long for the amount of time is humanly possible. It’s a constant struggle during ordinary time. Now in Advent, the tasks at hand are additional weight. My heart cries for time to be quiet and still. My mind tells me I need more connection. My schedule demands my attention and action.

When I begin to feel this way. I typically just stop and rest. I put on my brakes and halt. Today, I pushed through. Most chores were completed. And yes, there was yelling. I am not perfect. I am flawed, just like each and everyone of you. So, it is now that I’m able to stop and reflect on today and the season.

I truly believe in magic. I truly believe that it’s most tangible during this time of celebration. But I’ve learned that if we aren’t careful, we can be overtaken by forces that pull us away from the peace that the season offers. Yes, PEACE.  No, I didn’t achieve it today.  But, I know it’s there waiting for me, and once I’m ready, it will welcome me.

And isn’t that the true essence of the holiday season? Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Ashura celebrate miracles and acts that embody grace, love, community, and peace. All of which we are truly unworthy to receive, yet are given. Despite our faults and imperfections, we are loved with a patient grace that meets us where we are and when we are ready.

Friends, whether you are feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed. You are not alone. Chances are that throughout the season you will feel both, and maybe even simultaneously. This holiday season, I wish for you time to reconnect to yourself and your spirituality. I hope that when you feel like you are at your breaking point that you will pause, breathe and take care of yourself. I hope opportunities for kindness and giving present themselves to you and you oblige. Most of all, I wish you a beautiful holiday, no matter how complicated, simple, or busy.

Merry Christmas with Peace, Love, and Joy to All and to ALL!

Letting Go

This morning, I awoke to a beautiful Fall day.  I felt the beauty of the season and life. I’m so thankful that God isn’t too prideful to be explicit. Sometimes, He really does shove our faces in it and makes it so clear that we can’t miss it. This morning I witnessed the past, present, and future align. I couldn’t help noticing the gentle reminder that letting go often welcomes something equally, or even more, magical. Pure, natural serendipity.

Themes periodically, okay, constantly present themselves to me. Lately, it’s been letting go. Letting go of the pain of grief, fear, and hurt feelings of rejection and betrayal have been pulling me toward the new. The letting go of relationships and habits that no longer benefit me seem to be a real challenge. As a deeply loyal person, this process can be painfully disappointing, but the forces at work are convincing me that to grow, shedding may be necessary to reveal a healthier me.

This doesn’t mean I have to stop loving. On the contrary, in growth I’m learning that I am free to love from afar. The extra baggage that doesn’t honor my authentic self doesn’t belong in my future. It all belongs in my past. I no longer need to carry it.  I am free to choose to set it down and walk forward.  The lessons it taught me will continue to serve their purpose in many ways for me to appreciate and hold dear without limiting my future.

Letting go of the clutter, be it emotional or tangible, makes room for potential. Once the spirit is lightened, its focus becomes broader and clearer. Ambition follows, and soon what was not even an option, is in clear and present view. These opportunities are not by chance. They are signs directing you to exactly where you need to be doing what you need to be doing. The clutter and new cannot coexist, as ‘no two objects can occupy the same space.’*

This Fall, I’m letting go of what doesn’t belong or doesn’t’ nourish my being.  I am allowing the release of the unnecessary.  Expectations, old jeans, and hurt are exiting. No longer will they occupy the space within me. I’m trusting the process and dismissing the negative to allow space for the new and better.   In doing so, I feel my chest expand with a cleansing breath.  My mind settles.  Giving up each piece of burden invites space and clarity.  I’m clearing out my mental and physical closets to make room for the magically authentic beauty that awaits.


* The Pauli Exclusion Principle

Spread Love

Words are not enough. Prayers help. Actions are needed. Slowly and steadily our society has become broken. We can point our fingers and place blame all day for days at a time. What I believe to be at the center is the devalued soul.

We have placed worth on things instead of one another. We crave power. We manipulate to gain money and control. We are driven by our ego to revenge wrongs and achieve the ultimate successes. Pride is rampant. Kindness seems to be at an all time low. Worse yet, we have rewarded such behavior. We have repeatedly sacrificed and trampled our fellow man to serve ourselves.

Truly, LOVE IS THE SOLUTION. Love is the only antidote to hate.  Light breaks darkness.  We must place each other’s best interests before our own destructive selfishness. We must allow logic, along with compassion, to govern. We must heal the wounds that we have cut. It starts with the smallest and grandest gestures.

Less gossip. Less judging. More door holding and friendly greetings. More neighborhood picnics. More connections. Less dehumanizing. Fair healthcare. Maternity/Paternity leaves to foster healthy infant development. Consumer protections. Fair wages. Foods that are not grown or filled with chemicals. Less glorification of violence acts. More celebrations of goodwill’s successes. More intelligent discussions without name calling. This is what WE need.

Let us start now. Go. Love. Speak with kindness for all to hear. Be the light.

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