Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


This morning, on this 41st day of "Getting Quiet," there is great love in my heart~

Where There is Great Love

 for hot, honeyed tea 
for lit candles
for this home that holds my precious family 
for girlfriends who open their hearts wide and wider 
for those who struggle but keep bravely moving forward 
for tiny buds and green grass
and homemade chicken noodle soup 
for yoga poses that breathe life into my tired parts 
for singing birds and blossoming trees that teach me how to BE without trying to be 
for the part of me that remembers 
that the answers are in the spaces between.

 I breathe it all in, deeply 
slowing down
that Now 
is where miracles 
are found.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wisdom From A Very Special Eight-Year-Old

My sweet, intense little girl, Marielle, is sending out this message today.  It reads:  

Even when there are dark clouds always try to remember the blossoming pink flowers.  

A few days ago, while she and her Daddy (my wise husband) were on a walk, he (brilliantly) conveyed this beautiful message to her.  She got it and put into her own sweet words.

Dark clouds, blossoming flowers...we always get to choose where to focus.  
And don't the flowers need those clouds in order to blossom?
And doesn't the contrast make the beauty more beautiful? 

What if we took the judgment out completely?  
What if we embraced every little bit of it all?  Every bit of ourselves?
What if we stopped trying so hard and just let ourselves BE, just relaxed into who we already so beautifully are? 

My heart is sending your heart Love today.  I so want you to know that you are absolutely perfect & beautiful,  just as you are, that you are loved beyond measure.  I want you to know that your dark clouds make you that much more beautiful.  Really.

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."  Joseph Campbell

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

"Even if you live to be 100, it's really a very short time.  So why not spend it undergoing this process of evolution, of opening your mind and heart, connecting with your true nature-rather that getting better and better at fixing, grasping freezing, closing down"  Pema Chodron   

True Random Number Generator  10Powered by RANDOM.ORG
**(I really put in 18 as the "max" but for some reason, it switched it to 100 after I copied & pasted...hmmm?)

And #10 just happens to be my beautiful friend, Lisa Gonzalez from Happy Mama!  Lisa, let me know which of my prints is your favorite and I'll get it on its way to you.  

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your sweet words here, my friends.  I so enjoyed reading each and every one of them.  Seriously precious.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Giving My Resignation. Officially.

***There is a giveaway in progress...go HERE to enter

"Our willingness to resign as general manager of the universe and admit that we do not know everything unhooks us from the stagnant trance of our own individual, separate realities.  And once we are able to own up to this truth and concede that we can't do this on our own, the lower aspects of ourselves settle down and the door to the higher realms opens."   Debbie Ford

Card by Susan Mrosek
She let go

I'm struggling to write this fearLESS Friday post.  I find that I am trying too hard to come up with a "stretching exercise."  I'm thinking I need to do this on my own.

In the midst of this discomfort, I've decided that the best way to know what the "right" exercise is for any given Friday, is to offer what I most need.  And what I most need today is to let not try to figure out, to stop thinking.  To turn it over and trust that what I most need will reveal itself when I am in a present, receptive state.

Just yesterday, I made a little "letting go" box.  This is what it is...each time I begin to feel tense or troubled or indecisive or overwhelmed or anxious or scared shit-less about something (smile), each time I find that I am too grippy, too in-my-head about something, too attached...I will write this fear/complaint/indecision down and put it in the box.  I will turn it over.  I won't push for a decision or try to figure it out or allow my thoughts to further complicate things.  Thoughts are so damn good at further complicating.

Yesterday, I wrote a whole bunch of things down and stuck them in my little box.  It felt like relief.  My brain felt less cluttered.  More spacious.  More like it could receive.

This is what I know...the clearer and less cluttered my mind feels, the more room there is for something new & fresh, and, maybe even divine, to come through.  I am so so very ready to resign as general manager.  I don't want to make anymore decisions on my own.  I'm ready to turn every last thing over and over and over.

I'm more than ready to scream past these mind-made limitations. I'm ready! I'm ready!

Did you hear that Universe?

Settle down, lower aspects of myself!  Door to the higher realms...OPEN PLEASE.

What would you like to let go of/turn over/release/surrender to? What do you want to make space for?  Please share...I promise, it will feel like relief.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

It's not surprising that the day after yesterday's post (about wanting to bolt), I would stumble upon this breath-taking, breath-giving video.  Thank you Effy.  Not that it's at all unusual for something to move me to tears (I am constantly overwhelmed with emotion these days--in a really good way).

But this.  It just got me right in the heart and in my gut, straight down to my tingling toes.  So much beauty here.  

                        Holy.  Ordinary.  Amazing Grace.  A Gift.

P.S:  There is a giveaway in progress here, on my site...go HERE to enter
P.P.S:  Alia, over at "Inner Bliss" has a beautiful giveaway going on too...head over there!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Not So Pretty Truth

Oh, but aren't they cute?

It's spring break here which means the girls are out of school.  For the whole week.

I wish I could say that we're blissfully enjoying our time together, frolicking in the sunshine, smelling the flowers, soaking up these precious together moments.

But the honest truth (in this moment) is that I want to bolt.

Seriously, I want to hightail it out of here and leave them alone with their whining, bickering, cat-chasing, irritating, potty talking, noisiness.

I want to catch the next flight to somewhere with an ocean, somewhere warm & sunny and, preferably, far, far away. 

We just got out for a walk (finally) and, despite their rambunctious, nutty, high-pitched screaming behavior, I, in a moment here & there, was able to will myself into the present moment...I noticed the chirping birds, felt the warmth of the sun, savored the moments when they ran up ahead of me.  Prayed for patience.  And presence and perspective. 

In the middle of the deep breaths, I noticed the loud background noise...the noise that was saying, you really should be savoring them, giving them the gift of your undivided attention, enjoying the time you have with these two little girls who are growing so quickly

This was not a nice voice.

It was a shoulding, guilt-trippy, you're-doing-a-shitty-job-at-this kind of voice. 

Feeling completely drained and defeated, I climbed the front steps just in time to see the cat bolting full speed off the deck (turns out the girls were trying to force her inside our front deck bench (that opens and closes).  Right next to my absolute & complete frustration, was a feeling of deep envy for the cat...envious that she had managed to break free.

After I sent them to their rooms for animal cruelty, I turned to the computer for help.  And, get this, I stumbled upon these life-saving, beautifully expressed words by Karen Maezen Miller.  Thank God for people who tell it like it is.

Here are her magical words...

There is a certain hour every day, although it rarely lasts for just one hour, when I most want to leave home.

I see the faint blush of morning light under my eyelids. I hear the dog begin to patter on the parquet in the next room. I feel the inescapable weight of the morning routine descend upon me. My husband sleeps on, undisturbed. It's up to me to begin.

There is the dog to attend to. The coffee to make. The breakfast to assemble. The grumpy daughter to wake and push through her morning's grim reluctance. The lunch to pack, the dishes to put away. Then the walk to school, the weeds to pull, the clothes to wash and dry. The million, billion pieces of everyday life to steer and clear, the volume of which darkens my mind in a long, dense shadow of never-ending mundaneness.

What about me? I always think and often say. What about what I want to do? There is an hour every day when I most desperately want to leave home. And the thing is, I should.

Oh, the power of words.  These words, in this moment, have saved me. Thank you Karen.  There is such deep comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my occasional urge to bolt.

To read the rest of this article by Karen, entitled Parents, Leave Your Homeclick here.  It is well worth the read.  I just ordered her book, Mama Zen.  Please, Amazon, get it here quickly!

Okay, I feel better now.  On to a brand new moment...

***There is a giveaway in HERE to enter!

Monday, March 21, 2011


"Believe me, you want to know the experience of being alive in your soul. It doesn't come from doing what you’ve always done. It doesn’t come from ignoring your potential or true desires. It doesn’t come from going along with mass consciousness when you have maverick instruction within you—which you do. It doesn’t come from choosing comfort in the moment-- over comfort in your lifetime."     Tama Kieves

"Whispers of Truth"
Whispers of Truth
I'd really like to give a print (of one of my paintings) to one of you lovely readers!
To enter, please leave a comment answering this question (or any words you'd like to leave)....

What do you know for sure?

*The randomly chosen winner will be announced on Sunday, March 27th, and will get to pick a print of their choice from my Etsy shop 

Friday, March 18, 2011

fearLESS Friday with Alia Indrawan

My Very First Interview!

I just happened upon a word.   I've decided that it's my new favorite ever word.  It's not a coincidence that I would get reacquainted with it right before I was about to come here and introduce you to one of my favorite ever people. This is how things have been for me seems that just when I need or want something, there it is--right in front of me, at exactly the right moment.  That's how I happened upon Alia and this word that describes her so perfectly.


1. radiating or reflecting light; shining; glowing 
2. full of light; well-lit
3. (Physics / General Physics) (of a physical quantity in photometry) evaluated according to the visual sensation produced in an observer rather than by absolute energy measurements luminous flux luminous intensity Compare radiant
4. easily understood; lucid; clear
5. enlightening or wise

I feel so deeply honored to have connected with Alia.  I could go on and on about how we were brought together but I think I'll save that for another post. It's amazing to think that we haven't yet met in person--it's one of those connections that feels like it's been here forever.  I'm so grateful.

So today, in my first role as interviewer (can you sense my giddy-ness?), I get to share her with you.  Thanks so much, Alia, for taking the time to so beautifully answering these questions.

(Me)  What is your deepest heart’s desire? 

(Alia)  I am not used to asking myself what I truly desire.  I often get intimidated by this question!  I sometimes think of the list of things and experiences that I desire, yet what I always come back to is this:  I truly and completely desire to express love into this world.  I desire to know my own authentic self, express this authenticity in everything I do, and be a part of the process of inspiring others to open up to their true essence as well.  This is a deep desire for me, not just a “sounds good” answer.  Yes, I desire financial flow, more good books, radiant health, and a trip back to the States.  I admit it!  The deeper desire is that I really wish to be a part of the shift in this world from fear to love.  How this is to happen is beyond my awareness at this time.  I know that it will unfold as it is meant to.  Trust – something I am opening to more and more.

How did you get from there to here?  What twists and turns have led you to where you are today?

I have had so many twists and turns on my path.  I like to think of it as an ever-expanding spiral.  With each experience, I grow a bit more.  I have been through divorce, near-death, moving to the other side of the world with a 5 month old baby, waking up with $5 left to my name, and feeling as low as it comes.  From all of that, I have risen above my fears and perceived limitations, embraced my true self, and decided that there is so much more to my life than struggle.  The compassion and kindness that I experienced amidst the “darkness” has been so beautiful and enlightening.  I now wish so much to spread the same light into the lives of others that has been so generously given to me.

If you could go back in time and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your sweet younger self, what would you most want to say to her?

I want her to know how very deeply loved she is, no matter what she may hear or feel from the world around her.  She is so beautiful just the way she is.  She is safe and protected in this world.  She has the loving power to be absolutely anything she desires.  I want her to know that she is free to fly – there is no limit to love.

How do you nurture yourself?  How do you keep things light and fun in your life?

I have a nurturing sacred space, which is also the place I write and work in.  I surround myself with beauty every day.  I light candles, use pure essential oils, have fresh flowers around me, and immerse myself in the beauty of nature.  I absolutely love to read and find time for this every day.  All of this is so nurturing to my spirit.  Being a mom keeps things light and certainly fun!  My little boy, Jordan, is 7 years old now and I just love my time with him.  His free spirit is my reminder to lighten up, laugh, and just be in the present moment.  I love comedy films - the sillier the better.  Laughing just lightens everything in my life.

What/who inspires you?  What makes you come alive? 

I am so deeply inspired by women who are courageously opening up to their authentic selves and living their dreams.  When I am in the presence of these women, I am reminded of my own power within.  I become inspired to express my creativity in ways I never thought possible. 

I am most alive when I am facilitating a workshop or a talk.  Something just flows through me that I can only describe as a “flow” of energy that is moving me and expressing as me.  Whenever I have an opportunity to be a part of someone’s awakening to her true essence, I feel completely alive.
When fear decides to take hold, how do you re-center, how do you move through and come out on the other side?

My mind loves to run with fear.  There are times when it becomes paralyzing.  Really.  Last year I became so fearful of the intensity of where I live that I would get very close to panic every time I left the house.  It took over my life.  What helped me then and helps me right now is to open my heart to love, completely.  Not just some of the time – all the time.  When I began to embrace fear rather than resist it, the power I gave it was no longer there.  I recently had a little fear-embracing ceremony where I invited all my deepest fears to come to the surface and let me know what they are really wanting to express to me.  It was such a liberating experience. 

What holds you back?  What keeps you from stepping more fully into your power?

My limiting beliefs hold me back.  Those worn out beliefs from way back that still hang around to remind me of where I am resisting the flow.  I know they’re there.  I know they are not serving me.  I know they don’t make sense.  I certainly know they are not my Truth; they don’t define me.  They still show up though.  At times I really buy into the limiting thoughts of not being good enough and not having anything of value to offer to the world.  What I have recently realized is that as children, we are often afraid of the dark.  As adults, we are afraid of the Light – our Light.  I can get caught up in the fear of really shining my inner light in the world, which means I am out there to be seen.  That can feel really vulnerable for me.  Then I retreat back again.  So, my own limiting beliefs are what keep me from stepping more fully into my power.

Three books that have changed you...

Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch (I’m counting the series as one book!  J )  These books totally changed my life.

Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.  This first book by Shakti opened my world to her beautiful wisdom.  I have since read all of her books and each one just gives me goosebumps every time. 

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.  Louise is one of my sheroes.  Her work in the world has inspired me to listen to my heart and trust in my own wisdom.  This book was also the doorway to so many other books that have expanded my awareness.

I also want to say that The Celestine Prophecy was one of the first books to open me to a new understanding of spirituality and life all those years ago.  I am so grateful for that.  Okay, that was four.  The list goes on and on.

What have been your greatest challenges along the way?  How have these challenges helped you to become more of who you are?

Believing that I am not good enough just the way I am and comparing myself to others has been my greatest challenge.  It sets the tone for everything.  Always striving to “change” and better myself in some way really gets exhausting.  I am very open for growth and expansion.  I was confused about what it meant to grow and expand as opposed to changing because something was “wrong with me” or not good enough.  I think I just defined myself according to other peoples’ beliefs about what I should do and who I should be.  This created a lot of challenges for me.  They showed up in everything.  With that awareness, I have been able to re-define so much about myself and my purpose.  Another one of my ongoing challenges is to be in the present moment.  I often ruminate about the past and worry about the future.  This is certainly a challenge that I am aware of and really taking a deeper look at.  I can honestly say that the challenges have opened my eyes and heart to the truth of who I really am. 

What do you know for sure?

I know that love is the only force that is absolutely true in this world.  Each one of us is created as divine love.  We just forget this sometimes.  I know that we have such a profound opportunity right now to let go of the old ways, let go of the past, and create our lives the way we really wish to.  We really are the powerful creators of our own lives.

What is your message?  What words do you most want others to hear?

You are here right now to express your own truth, in a way only you can.  Open your heart to what resonates within your soul, embrace it, and shine it out for the world to see.  You matter.  There is room for you right here, right now, just as you are.  Listen to the whispers of your soul.  This is where wisdom resides.  Let go of anything that does not support who you really are.  Open up to love.  It is time to step into your true power.

Alia specializes in women’s healing, personal growth and holistic life coaching, offering private sessions, workshops, retreats, and inspirational talks.  She brings her life experience, intuitive guidance, clarity and compassion into her work with the aim of inspiring and encouraging women to honor their authenticity and live their passions.  She lives with her family in Ubud, Bali.

Isn't she amazing?  To get to know more about this beautiful woman, head over to her blog, Inner's pretty blissful over there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pouring Gratitude

Artwork by Lori Portka
I don’t know what’s going on here.  I think my capacity for gratitude and love has reached some kind of tipping point.

I’m here in the quiet of my morning, spilling tears of gratitude all over the place.  

Maybe it’s something about the #22, today is the 22nd day of writing about my butterflies (gratitude list).  I don’t know.  

First, I read this post by the absolutely precious Lori Portka that touched me to the very core of my being.  Would you just look at her artwork? 

And then my beautiful sister emailed and shared some very happy news.

And I have so many ideas and things from my heart I want to share. I can't contain it all...just letting it all pour.

I adore you, lovely people.  Thank you for being here.  For coming back.  For leaving your sweet words with me.  For being so beautifully you.  Thank you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Still Listening

I got the brushes & paint out this morning and put color on felt so good.  

I'm continually amazed at how resistant I sometimes am to doing the very thing I know will nurture me. (Yes, this is an on-going theme.)  I'm realizing, though, that when I listen to the mind (that wants desperately to keep me safe and small), I suffer.

Sometimes it's difficult to know who's talking.  But, more and more, I'm learning to distinguish the mind voices from the soul voices.  

When the mind is talking (and it will always and forever try to make its fraidy cat voice heard), I feel constricted, tired, afraid, anxious, impatient, hesitant.  I feel like protecting myself, staying comfortable and doing what I always do.  I worry about what others will think.  I worry that I'm not good enough.  I think about what I'm not getting.  I think I need to know the hows before I begin.  I don't begin.

When I allow myself to slow way down and listen closer, I hear little whispers...the little whispers are brave and sweet and nurturing and gentle. They say things like, just begin, let go of needing it to be good, just show up, you have nothing to prove, just be you, let go and trust.  Open.  Stop trying to control.  Let the magic come through.  You don't have to do this alone.  Let go.  Let go.  Let go.

When I listen to the whispers I feel energized, empowered, excited, giddy--maybe a little (or a lot) scared too, but, alongside the scared, I feel full and courageous.  I feel like giving and sharing.  I feel a sense of possibility.

I am learning that I can allow the mind voices to be there, maybe even have breakfast with them if I want...but I don't have to listen.  I don't have to do what they say.  I don't have to allow them to drag me to hell (where they often threaten to keep me forever).

There is a wise, soft, gentle part of me that waits patiently for me to slow down and listen.  This part of me knows there are no limits, trusts that there is absolutely enough to go around and knows the next step will be revealed in perfect time.  And believes in abundance and magic. And miracles.

This part of me wants to soar bravely into the wide open, sunshiny expansiveness of me.

I think I'll lean in real close and listen to the whispers.

Which part are you listening to today?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Listening to the Rain

"It's not hard to grow when you know that you just don't know."  Jack Johnson

I was listening to Jack Johnson (while on my run a few days ago) when the above words knocked me right over the head.  

I am here today, in the comfort of my warm home, listening to the rain, letting go of any need to know.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Moving Slowly and a Prayer for Japan

Dear God,
Please send angels to Japan.
-Marianne Williamson

It's raining here.  I'm finding it difficult to get moving.  My whole family had a tough time rolling out of bed this morning...I guess it takes a few days to adjust to losing an hour.  Right in the middle of feeling like I really should get something done, I came across the below words on Tama Kieve's Facebook page, the right words at the right time.

Spring forward "stole" an hour from me. How many hours do we steal from ourselves not honoring the natural rhythms? Today, as much as you can, try not to force anything. Allow the nature of your perfect being to create the nature of this day.

So, instead of going on that run and trying to force any kind of schedule, I'm going to do my best to go easy with myself, try to allow myself to adjust slowing & honor that I just need a break today.  

Every time I get online, I am reminded of the devastation in Japan and my heart aches.  

This morning, I stumbled upon a little gift...the above prayer and photo, as well as some moving stories from the people of Japan.  Despite horrific circumstances, these beautiful people are finding love in their warms me right up.  

The heart has its own language.
The heart knows a hundred thousand
ways to speak.

Here are a few of their (translated) stories:

A foreign friend told me, they were shocked to see a long queue form so neatly behind one public phone. Everyone waited so patiently to use the phone even though everyone must have been eager to call their families.

In the super market where all the things fell, people were picking up things so neatly together, and then quietly stand in line to buy food. I was glad to be a Japanese.

I saw a little boy thanking the station staff saying “thank you so much for trying hard to run the train last night” the staff had tears in his eyes, and I was crying…

The traffic was horrible!! Only one car can move forward at green light. But everyone was driving so calmly. During the 10 hour drive (which would only take 30 minutes normally) the only horns I heard was a horn of thank you. It was a fearful time … but then again a time of warmth and it made me love Japan more.

Last night when I was walking home (cause all traffic stopped) an old lady from the bakery shop which was totally passed their closing time was giving out free bread. Even at times like this, people were trying to find what they can do and it made my heart warm.

When I was waiting at the platform, so tired and exhausted… a homeless person came to us and gave a cardboard to sit on… even though we usually ignored them in our daily life… it was so warm

Suntory (juice company) are giving out free drinks, phone company creating more wi-fi spots, 1000000 noodles given from food company… everyone is helping the best they can. We have to do our best too, to stand up.

When I was walking home for 4 hours… there was a lady holding a sign that said “please use our toilet” they were opening their house for people to go to the restroom. When I saw that, it made me cry feeling the warmth of people

At Disneyland, they were giving out candies. High school girls were taking so many so I was thinking “what???” but then the next minute, they ran to the children in the evacuation place and handed it to them. That was a sweet gesture.

When there is a black out, there are people working to fix it. When the water stops there are people working to fix that too.. and when there is problem with nuclear energy there are people going there to fix that. It doesn’t fix automatically. While we are waiting for things to be fixed saying we are cold.. there are people risking their life to fix it.

An old man at the evacuation shelter was saying “whats going to happen now..” and then a young high school boy sitting next to him said “don’t worry!! When we grow up, we will promise to fix it back !!” and was rubbing the old mans back. And when I was listening to that conversation, I felt hope. There is a bright future

 See @prayforjapan for more…

"It is love alone that leads to right action. What brings order in the world is to love and let love do what it will."  - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Friday, March 11, 2011

There's Only Now

I've been trying
to say this
for a thousand years

and today
all around
are the screaming,


They are
in the space
this ordinary breath

and the next

in the way
the daffodil
so bravely
to the Light

in this cracked
open heart that spills
with a Love
that knows nothing
of bounds.

Last night while I
the whole earth
and trembled
and swept
back to sea

They are all saying
the same thing

Stop. Listen. Be Still.

not in the doing
or getting

in the Being
in the fullness of


My heart goes out to all of those affected by the earthquake/tsunami.  I dedicate these words to them.

Today's fearLESS Friday stretching exercise is to be here in this precious now.  To say thank you for this very moment, to all of the blessings that surround.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Because of Grace...a new painting

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. "-- Simone Weil

"Because of Grace"
*Click on painting to enlarge*

I'm having a hard time putting words to this new painting...

This sweet little guy is just so precious to me.  He brings me back to my childhood--to Samson Little, the little red dachshund who, as a little girl, was my best buddy.  He was the best ever listener.  He sat quietly beside me when I needed to get a good cry out, he never once asked me to stop before I was done.  He curled up next to me at night.  He let me tell him stories.  His sweet little presence comforted me when nothing else did.

I so loved that dog. 

I painted this painting for my sweet Dad who has had such a deep connection with all of our dachshunds.  After Sam, there was Fritz Van Liebchen Hausen, the miniature black and red dachshund that became paralyzed (in his back legs) at a young parents did everything for that dog.  He and my Dad were bonded in a way words can't touch.  In all of Fritz's struggles, there was something there that always shined through...a knowing that he was in good hands?  An understanding.  Grace?  I don't have words. 

The little painting above says it all, whatever I'm trying to describe is there.  No words necessary.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Room For It All

"Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.  We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved.  They come together and they fall apart.  Then they come together again and fall apart again.  It's just like that.  The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen:  room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."  Pema Chödrön

Today has been one of those days.  It started this morning when it was time to get up and I really really didn't want to. I didn't feel depressed or sad, I just very much wanted to burrow way down deep in my down comforter and sleep until I couldn't sleep anymore.  I was seriously craving a day free of all things responsible.  But there were little mouths to feed and little ones to get to school, lunches to make, a run that needed running, emails to respond to, groceries to be bought, household stuff that needed doing, etc, etc...

Once I managed to get my feet on the floor, my morning consisted of cringing while my little one screamed from the other room that she didn't want to get up (hmm...sound familiar?), digging through piles of unfolded laundry for matching little girl socks & just the right sweatshirt, standing on my head to get my six-year-olds too tight shoes on her feet, asking my eight-year-old for the bazillionth time to get dressed, completely losing my patience a few times for reasons I can't even remember now, searching all over the place for the car keys that I just knew were in a certain location but had somehow completely vanished, etc...

By the time I had them dropped off at school, I was completely drained of energy.  On the drive out to my running spot, I noticed my thoughts were doing their best to drag me to this place of blame and guilt...feeling like I really should have had more patience, wondering if I would ever get it together, thinking of all the things I should do and shouldn't do, racking my brain for ways I could do it better next time, etc...

And then, right in the middle of my self-scolding/ feeling like things should have gone differently, I inhaled a big inhale and paused for a moment.  And in the center of that pause, I noticed the sunshine, the little wispy clouds, the warmth coming through the window, the little birdie sitting on the wire, the two geese soaring side-by-side, the green green grass in the wide open field. 

In other words, right in the middle of all that discomfort, I got really present and noticed the breathing world...the mind-boggling beauty all around me. 

And for a moment, the story stopped.  The blame stopped.  The shoulds and shouldn'ts stopped.  And, for a moment, I let myself feel the discomfort without trying to bolt.  I let there be room for not knowing.  I let myself feel the groundlessness and vulnerability of not having the answers.. 

And I remembered that this is life; the ebbs & flows, the ups & downs, the pleasure & discomfort, the pretty & not so pretty.  The expansion & contraction.  And I remembered that there is room for it all, that I don't have to push any of it away.  I could just stay and be and open to whatever that moment wanted to show me.

And there I was, in the middle of a very tender, very beautiful, very whole moment.