Thrive

In Love #28

A smile from Brownie

I’m in love with unexpected smiles. The light in the snark, the playful mouth moves when all seems frost. Warming our perception of the jagged edges, the harsh we-ality. Giver and receiver alike, the threat replaced with gentleness. With joy. With connection.

The spread, taking us in new directions. Shattering tension, breaking barriers, it’s the universal, peaceful warrior code. The “I really see you” chipping away at walls, silently dismantling. Stealthily human and reassuring, a wide smile can disarm.

The giver offers the pearly uplift and received or not, it’s out there. A floating smile cloud for the taking. Without turbulence or storm, the smile poised to reign a shower of joy over unsuspecting travelers. We see it, feel it. Keep it or pass it dawn. Morning, noon or night a dentition delight. I’m in love with unexpected smiles.

human condition

In Love #27

I’m in love with hugs from strangers.

A welcoming, outstretched arms of inclusion. The rare and radical leave a tingling of newness, spreading across the shoulders, chest and back. No expectation. Taking in the offering. Not strange at all. Just a moment of reception. Receiving joy and compassion feels light and joyful. Not strange at all.

They’re a special breed, these folks. A chance meeting. A surprise invitation to meet an underdeveloped part of ourselves. The parts that open and take. Acceptance of warmth. Of soul recognition. It unfolds just as it should. Authentic and organic, giddy and gorgeous.

Sometimes we are the stranger. The giver of free love and compassion. Responding to the pain, relief or undeniable connection with another human. Hearts moved to meet. The power to heal. The power within us all.

I’m in love with hugs from strangers.

connection

Marilyn Doesn’t Know She’s A Teacher

Onions can make you cry but so can a heart opening. So many layers so many lessons.

It would have annoyed most people. I should have been annoyed. I wasn’t. My anger would have hijacked the most profound moment. Her anger could have ruined everything. But instead, a life changing moment, a nudge from Spirit. I met a teacher, an angel…Marilyn.

While attempting to park my car I was met with a snow plow clearing the lot. I pulled to the side to let him clear where I wanted to park. Nosed in and put it in park. When he cleared the area, I put it in reverse and started to back up. I heard a beep and realized that someone was right behind me. I quickly pulled back to where I was and put it in park.

I did feel the annoyance rising in me. But then again, by beeping this person, this lovely woman, saved me from smashing her car. Upon entering the store there she stood. Sizing her up, I prepared to be yelled at, I deserved it obviously. “I’m sorry I beeped at you” she blurted out. Wow

Holy shit! SHE’S sorry? shocking. For what, for being alive? I told her I was GLAD she beeped and stopped me – I was totally going to wreck both our cars. “Always beep and don’t be sorry!” She thought that was a funny thing for me to say. We began to talk about things. Families, jobs, why we were at this store…the normal bla bla bla. Until

Until she disclosed her daughter’s situation. Somehow, by the grace of God, I found myself in a very private and profound conversation with a complete stranger. I was deeply moved by her sharing. I didn’t deserve to be privy to any of this. I was the jackass who made a dumb move in the parking lot! Still, she shared with me. Still. I was deeply moved by her daughters will to live. I was deeply moved that she died repeatedly only to be revived again and again.

All because she made the choice to have compassion for me instead of anger for me so close to wrecking her car. She not only forgot about HOW she met me, she trusted that it was ok to tell me about her life’s recent tragic events, in detail. Every detail. I’m still in shock but strangely honored.

Again. I was blown away that her daughter coded several times during her C-section. Several times. Was clinically dead seven times. That hits hard. Even when it’s a stranger. I didn’t want to cry but it was already there. I was crying inside. Profound. It was a miracle mom and baby survived.

Marilyn’s daughter has some complications because of these events and continues to recover.

I was ready to be scolded, degraded, sneered at for being dumb and assuming no one was behind me. Instead, I was met with compassion and understanding. That’s what Marilyn had waiting for me. Understanding and Compassion. How sweet. What an incredible woman that Marilyn. What an awesome day with the chance meeting with my latest teacher. Teaching love, trust, compassion and understanding even for strangers. Even for someone who nearly caused you more angst and worries.

Can’t we all try to BE the compassion and understanding. You never know who you’ll impact and how far the ripples will go. It may be life saving, life changing. We all struggle. We need to trust and see each other. I think it was Rumi who said, We’re all just humans, walking each other home.

I’ll be talking the long way. Past some lovely strangers.

Human Spirit

All The Things You Never Said

As a Lotus, I rise from the muddy waters. Anyway. Pic belongs to afishnamedkaren

The things I needed to hear. To feel real, validated and seen. Human. When I was not wanting to live, I could have used some reality. But let’s be honest. Seriously, you’ve buried everything. What you’ve done mummified, locked away. Of course, in the likeness of what was done to you. Someone ruined your lives so you then turned that on me. The damage you three have done. Shattering any chance of normalcy. For me. History repeated, when no one was looking. Default, complacency, asleep.

But still, there are all the things you never said. All the things I was starving to hear. All the things that might have changed my sad life, allowing me to feel instead of just surviving. To thaw my frozenness…

Imagine hearing – I’m sorry you hate your body, we did that. I’m sorry you need hyper vigilance just to feel safe, we did that, we never let you rest. I’m sorry you feel transparent, like everyone knows what you’re thinking, we needed to keep you feeling exposed. We apologize for pressuring you, never letting you rest- for if you rested you might have gathered courage and strength to outsmart us or tell others what we were doing. We’re sorry you fear assault will come any moment. Keeping you fearful kept you compliant. We’re sorry you cringe when you hear whispers in the night, we didn’t want to wake anyone. We’re sorry we ruined everything for you and aren’t sorry about it. We’re sorry we treated you like you were nothing, insignificant and insane when you confronted us. We couldn’t let others see our crazy. We still can’t see it ourselves.

All these things you’ve never said, running through my head, running through my head, running through my head. But it’s all ok. I say them. I tell that precious little girl inside me, who is growing up now because I’m in charge. I apologize to her for you, despite you, in defiance of you and for the love of me. All the ways I love myself. All of the love that I am, that I have to give. Anyways.

You never destroyed me. Never took it all. All along, I had the golden goose. My army was just waiting…My Spirit watched from afar as I soaked up all your bullshit wrapped in a pretty package of care and family. While I lived as a shadow, on the periphery of even my own life. While I tried to not exist at the age of 7. While I would hardly speak and just watched others most of my younger years. While I would never bring anyone over to my house because it was evil but everyone was smiling – you(s) and I could never have known the slow burning fuse had been lit.

I was meant for greater than I could ever have imagined. I am this. A private joke that keeps delivering. A smile so deep into my core it’s engraved into my soul. The smug smile of knowingness. I am that. Of overcoming. Of pity for you tinged with a hint of compassion – yes I said compassion- for your (still) inner turmoil and lack of awareness.

I have walked. Far. Never to return to you. For you are invisible. Because you could never say that you’ve tried to destroy me. That you wanted to destroy me. Because you were destroyed by your abusers. You’ve never been honest. You all can’t be. I understand. I understand everything now. Thats why I’m so powerful. So powerful.

Oh! All the things I CAN say now. And I do.

receive

In Love #21

I’m in love with long soaks in the tub. The luxurious idea of it all. Water validating what I bring, who I am. Enveloping me in connection and acceptance. She loves this, my inner Aquarian child. Effective recharge, soaking in simplicity.

Celebrating the solitude in the deep warm. Drowning pressure, responsibility, have-to heaviness and shouldoves, I become lighter. For they cannot swim. A beautiful death, they scatter on the surface until I can no longer hear their voices. Silence. Detaching from their grip, I sink deeper into this best life.

Deeper into aliveness and existence I swim. And I’m a swimmer. Upstream usually, so this is easy. But wait! static waters trigger my busy. My efforting. My reaching for reasons I can’t stay. Reasons I’m not worthy to receive and allow the warm hug, the pleasant and loving warm embrace. All just voices and stories with anxious, ancient roots.

Submerged in sanity, I play. Anyway. Fragrance and texture, old friends we are. I begin again. Cleanse and clean. Brushing, I evict expired drama from my loins. The clarity of the liquid accepting and assimilating all of it. Holding me. Holding separate, my discards. I ride out the calm.

Float until I live. I agree to be alive and transformed. Again. Drained of my “no longer” needs. If just for today. Now I rise, a newborn. Tub drain uncomfortable and grouchy with heavy content. It groans. Hear it? But no one’s there to witness the suck-age. The ancestral bla-bla-bla. It is silenced in defeat, today.

I emerge wet and new, full of possibility. Empty then full. Soak then woke. Tub’s got me dry and deranged to sane and sassy. I love long soaks in the tub.

Transformation

Gifts of Silence

Ever listen to the leaves unfurl? Lying here it’s about all I can do. A lot in common these leaves and I. Hanging out in the present moment observing, listening, waiting. The slow angelic pitch, I imagine violin string elegant. Starting low and slow and opening as the pitch rises in question and wonder. Just barely audible as I sit in natures classroom. On nature’s furniture.

Announcing, loudly,. Claiming their assigned seasonal seat. Each an expression of individuality greener and greener still. Resilience and ready mixing with the promise of the Summer’s heat. Assuming the role of caregiver for the entire tree. Providing shade for all who seek. The face of the company ready to stand tall and accept storms, adversity and insect nibbles.

Oh the silence. Silence that holds colors, movement and nature’s agenda. All timely. Full of patience and promise. The silence that speaks so loudly one cannot possibly ignore. Like outstretched palms. These unfurling leaves. We can place our angst and suck -onto their plentiful surfaces. Nature never judges. Never scoffs. Just transforms.

healing

May Break My Bones

Oh the bone pain, the freak out of incapacity. Having to rely on those with fake compassion. Bedside medical procedures without warning or explanation. I was frozen. Frightened. Wise and alone. Surrounded with smiling haters. Reliant on the living dead.

I was 19. With an undeniable thirst for victory. Mixed with a contempt for my own existence. Which would rise to the top, only time would tell. Armed with a deafening fuck you, a hardened shell ready to battle for my life. Stupid familiar territory. To show you that despite your impenetrable cold, I am victorious.

You broke me, now I’m am physically broken. This too, again, also, will break me down, this too, will devastate me. Defeat me. Because it has to. Because that’s what I’m here for. I signed the contract. To get me to do the inner work. This is the way it works. Bring it.

But. It will not. Own me. Extinguish my breath. Keep me down. Physical limitation fucking irrelevant to the drive inside. Just another mountain, jagged, inhumane, punishing, here to slay any signs of life. A life that is present but absent, just like yours.

But I don’t, won’t, can’t see it. Just like you. My life force stronger than the weight of tragedy then or now. Stronger than the weight of you. Inevitable. Predictable. But something needed to crack me open. Something.

So pregnant with dysfunction. It was time. On the brink of oozing the generational secrets. From a higher place, the universe spoke. A tragic accident, the undeniable catalyst for awakening. Spiritual awakening like a tsunami. Like someone left the truth dam open. Higher forces prodding the reluctant, like me, to visit with the emotional trauma beast within. Behind the dimples and unassuming sweet teenage smile…

Wild beasts of recovery and revenge running amuck. Their stories unearthed, audible. However difficult, we digest or reject. Each painful. Each useful. Over time we choke out the dark, discarding the lies and betrayal and other nasty reminders of remnants on evictions doorstep.

Thankfully the flight of graceful, here. The angelic realm poised to embrace my broken, trembling body, providing a safe haven in a sea of lost. Where it’s free to NOT be ok. Freedom to feel even the darkest of feels. Freedom to express the rage and terror, shame and shock. Openly.

Physical recovery parallels emotional. The unlikely victor I’ve met in me. Snatching back what was mine. Taking back strength, power and unearthing buried resiliency. Bones and emotional strength unbreakable, unstoppable, opaque, dense, unyielding. Like a bone that mends with fortification – now protected, safe and dependable – like no other bone. Unable to return to its previous condition. Maybe even stronger.

I’ve forever severed my dependency on the unstable and instead focused my reliance on my own inner wisdom. My own fortress of sanity, house of rock, walls of protection. Brokenness calls for attention to our unfinished places. So we may live our best versions of ourselves. Our most authentic lives. Without apology. We survive. And thrive.

healthy · heart

Check Engine

If you have a car you are familiar with the CHECK ENGINE light. If you have a body you might also be familiar with the same kind of warning. The warning might come in the form of swollen joints, fever, chest pains or any other sign there is a security breach of wellness – inside your castle.

The early warning beacon, letting you know that you need to go in for service. Probably skipped that last service appt as things were going well. Why fix what’s not broke? 2 weeks ago my CHECK ENGINE siren went off in my chest.

I awoke with chest discomfort. A cramp of sorts that I just could not ignore. It had been less severe during the week but this was different.

Of course, I fast forward to my funeral. Have I made a difference? Will anyone miss me? When will my heart stop? Will it hurt? Then, the pain disappears just as quickly. Relief. But will it return? Will this be it?

As I wait for my appointment, I live my best life, wondering if each hour could be the last. Waffling between panic and satisfaction, I carry on. For the next 3 days I reflect on my life, how I’ve been able to bust up my FOO (family of origin) and continue to stand tall atop the rubble.

I am flooded with pride, my love for myself spilling from my pores, a purple mist entering my heart space. A healing mist, mist of comfort and knowing and grace. Angel’s exhaled grace holding my heart in tender appreciation.

I’ll be fine. My heart is fine. Scarred? Yes. A thorough exam and stress test reveal normal function. A beautiful, typical pitter-patter. Nothing wrong they say. My heart whispers, “there was never anything wrong with you.”

My check engine light is off for now. I resume normal function. Listening to my body, everyday. Slowing down to take notice of my needs. My self heal modalities cued up. My toolkit brimming. Self-talk extremely important. Ready for this to happen never again.

anyways

Steamy

The usual walk into work. Breathless, no minutes to spare, still swallowing the last of my morning tea. Bags and baggage rolling down the icy, brown, salt stained sidewalk. My work cart trailing behind me. Announcing my morning arrival with quite the ruckus.

So little of the snow covered path visible to me because, well I CAN’T really SEE where I’m going. Mask up to kiss my glasses. They meet and conspire to steal my view. Then this voice, this smugful tone rises above the sound of wheels on crunchy snow. “You only need to see what’s in front of you” ok gotcha!

The wisdom comes when you’re not looking for it. Like a dog that appears out of nowhere for a scritch-scratch, reminding you to slow down, be present or some other profoundness. So, only see what’s right in front of me huh? Ok, got it…so I can’t spend any time thinking about the what if’s tomorrow, next week, next month, next year?

Nope! I am to stay contained today, in this space, in this me moment LANE. I am thankful for this reminder. I am thankful that I know to heed tiny messages such as this. I am thankful to know that if I don’t, the message might not be so sweet the next time. I know this. D

Irritations always get our attention. We wish to choke them out as quickly as they show up. But don’t. Their message comes from a higher place. We might not notice the message if life carried on seamlessly. But the piss-me-offs? Just like that annoying person at work… always keeps us growing. Happy Friday everyone!

gratitude

My Darling Gratitude

Today I am so thankful to lead a normal life. Making mistakes and laughing to others about it. Knowing it’s ok to be an unmade bed in a sea of “seemingly” perfect beds. It’s ok. Not perfect. I have gratitude for my awareness of…Shit’s def gunna happen, sometimes all in one day. Sometimes all in 30 minutes. I’ll be fine. I’ll fix it, or maybe it doesn’t need fixing. Maybe I’ll have gratitude for Spirit orchestrating things just the way life SHOULD unfold…

I feel gratitude for the folks on my path. Teaching me more about myself and how to BE in the world. I know most people I meet are caring and supportive and generous souls. I feel thankful that I can be real and messy and quirky and forgetful and have that be ok.

If these are the only issues today – it was a damn fine day. I feel thankful that I can dig deep and muster GRATITUDE even when life feels like a dirty trick. Even when it feels like someone might be filming me with a hidden camera. Even when everything I touch turns to shit. Even when. Gratitude lives here. Everyday.

What are you Thankful for?

intuition · listen

No Agenda

I always do this. Some people are weirded out, some people are flip and some others tell you what’s up. None of that matters.

No matter what happens, I’m not looking for any certain outcome. I did my duty of following a lead from a deeper place within me. From God, channeling a Spirit Guide, my own higher self/Spirit.

Where ever you believe the “knowing” is coming from…Trust that voice. It’s never wrong. 💜

October · rain

In Love #17

I’m in love with the smell of October rain. Arriving upon a cool, warm, wet, chilly breeze. Coating crunchy leaves and crispy flowers. Gathering dusty, dried earth for a communal autumn hug. The rain slowly arrives, moving in on the quiet. Settling into its resting place, lukewarm and lovely.

Making up for Summer drought, it falls. And falls. Smelling like forest floor. Like rich brown soil. Like the underpinnings of fabulousness with a side of mushroom spores and pine bedding undertones. Resurfacing the foundation of new life. Possibilities. Rich mineral magnificence.

The fragrance of possibility. Of spent corn stalks, cold harvest moon mist and pumpkin spice. In the air, previews of icy rains and solid precipitation. The falling away of what is no longer needed. That which weighs us down. Rain showering off the unwanteds, the old, the haggard, tired. The dead crunchies in our lives.

Washed into tomorrow on an endless cycle. Each rain flushing our discarded patterns. The old, worn out becoming new again. Replaced, reset, realigned by fresh new growth. Breathing in a little slower today to fill my empty spaces with the smell of rain in October.

anyways · appreciation · resilient · Uncategorized

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

of who I thought

I was

Who I thought

I should be

Who they told

me

to be

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of self acceptance

Landing in a softer

more supportive

place

of allowing

Landing in a softer

more supportive place

of wonder

By pausing

the seeds of overcoming

are sewn

The transformation

set into action

Effortless

Today

I am letting go

Uncategorized

In Love #15

I’m in love with deep breaths. The boundless kind refilling my sails. Conscious sips of love welcomed into my chest scape. Dismantling an anxious foundation fortified with last weeks sludge. Thought by thought, I see them to the door. Some reluctant, but soon completely evicted from this wisdom pipeline of the soul.

Conscious or unconscious. I breathe. Resetting the tick, time, tock. Slicing up deadlines and have-to’s. Making manageable the most tangled armor. This luscious, quenching air filling the deep crevices between uptight and spacious. Grounding the body right here, right new

The holy rolling of chest. Breath enters and exits on two lane highway traveling South. Drawing in fuel, to our receptive muscles. Once again, saying yes to life. Then the exit North. The release of rib cage tension allowing drainage of all that is not serving us. All that has expired within us. Each cycle bringing us closer to ourselves.

In an endless cycle of fresh. An endless cycle of Peace. An endless cycle of Presence. I’m in love with deep breaths.

gift · Uncategorized

In Love #14

I’m in love with forehead kisses. Planted on prime real estate of the third eye space. Physically between the eyes. Spiritually, when this energy center is unblocked, we are capable of enhanced “vision”. To me this area is very sacred and allows me to connect spiritually with others for the collective good.

Forehead kisses, a gentle, confirming reminder of my significance. Of my “being seen”. A private honoring and offer of reverence for my existence. The spontaneous act usually coming to me without warning, without introduction, without permission.

My eyes close to savor the gesture. Allowing the feeling in and around, landing wherever needed. Warmth and connection spreading across my eyes, midbrain and encircling my head. Nothing to do about it, but allow. No destination, no motive, nothing more needs to happen. Seated deeply in a spiritual exchange of respect.

A profound understanding. Clarity around divine connection and mutual respect. The most tender of human expressions. Received. Received without words. Given. Given without expectation of return. The sweetest of gifts. The ultimate compliment. To me.

I’m in love with forehead kisses.

cat · love · Uncategorized

In Love #12

I’m in love with loud purring. Body shaking and telling of fondness for life. A soft, rhythmic blanket of furry love. Unscheduled pleasure. Rising and falling, sleeping and waking. Our eyes closed tightly, savoring the tune. Your whispers of fuzzy somethings at the foot of the bed.

The 3am motor, my favorite engine sound. Sheets ripple, erupt with fluttering plaid flannel. Sleepy pats offered. Met with nudges, of the predictable kind, to carry-on. Purring the kind of purr that becomes more audible with a rub.

This is where sensory joy lives. Comfortably. Amidst the pitter-patter of sounds from this warm furry throat. No troubles in this moment. Or this one. Or this one. I lay my heavy head on your fat, warm belly. Your kitty pillow accepts my forehead. Riding with the gift.

My ear bathed, absorbing the peaceful concert. Feeding my needy inner child soul with fizzy sound waves. Soothing even the most silent of frazzles. Within.

compassion

Thoughts On Compassion

Portrait by A Fish Named Karen 2012

Compassion is having the capacity to hold, and the wisdom to allow, deep love to flow from your mature heart space as an energetic offering, to a recipient/situation.

Compassion is not subject to permission, boundaries or reception.
It’s a private, organic offering/agreement between your higher self and ancient, wise mother heart.

I see compassion as two chambers of the same heart. One holding and honoring what WAS and the other holding and honoring what IS. Right and wrong, good and bad don’t exist, there is space and acceptance for all of it.

Compassion is having room for the entirety of an experience and seeing the inherent beauty, anyways.

Compassion is when you realize that caring deeply about others does not mean you have to surrender or negate some part of yourself.

Compassion is our loving acceptance of shades of gray in the human condition.

Compassion is a process by which you gaze, with eyes of softness, on those who could use holding, through their pain and struggle, especially when they can’t/won’t help themselves – regardless of their “deserving it”.

Compassion is standing onshore, looking into the eyes of pain in another, and remaining separate (without jumping in after them/merging with them in their pain) and loving them from dry land.

Compassion is realized, offered and received when the path to heart wisdom has been significantly cleared of the debris of trauma.

gratitude · Uncategorized

In Love #9

I’m in love with garden harvests. All the green and underground lovelies. Waiting to give their best for the cause. Rainbow palate in each haul. Insects unknowingly caught up in the action, making the trip back to the garden on their own.

Herbs, hots, sweets, medicinal cures and teas sharing a harvest basket. Happily sacrificing themselves for the good of the order. Whatever that means lol. Harvesting the mature, the impressive, the plenty. Garden basket and clippers in hand.

Harvest day. Harvest week. Row by row. I stand, lean, squat, bend, kneel. Feeling the gratitude arise. The basket filling over and again. Fresh, earthy gifts. I love garden harvests.

love · Uncategorized

In Love #5

I’m in love with cool breezes through open windows. The desire for fresh, no matter the season.

Craving the cool air pushing its way up and around, over and under the window cracked ever so slightly.

Craving even warm air pushing its way up and around, over and under the window cracked ever so slightly. A fuzzy, cozy air-blanket full of promise. Refreshing life’s staleness, one molecule at a time.

Air sneaking around, unnoticed, without a peep. Sudden and uninvited but nonetheless, met with an open airway.

Curling around each hair follicle. Hairs bristle, stand at attention. A welcome change and renewal. Breathing life into tired lungs and foggy minds. Diluting heavy thoughts and rigidity.

I’m in love with cool breezes though open windows.