• Ask and It Shall Be Given

    Sunday, June 12, 2016 No tags Permalink

    We can’t ask people to give us something that we do not believe we are worthy of receiving. And you will know you’re worthy of receiving it when you trust yourself above everyone else.” ~ Brene Brown

    If you don’t ask for what you want, you’ll never get it. I struggle with this idea.  The most difficult thing that any of us can do is to simply ask for precisely what we want. It’s so much easier to take what we get—to remain silent about those things that we want or need—because by not speaking up, we aren’t taking the risk that we may be turned down.

    My dear (and wise) friend Sheryl wrote this a few weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since then:

    “This week I somehow pulled myself up out of recent months of the burgeoning ennui-funk and fear of uncertainty and fear of loss. Waiting on others/powers-that-be/the universe so that I could react flexibly was an old survival mechanism that was making me feel deep dread and a deep lack of confidence.”

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  • All 4 Me

    Sunday, March 27, 2016 No tags Permalink

    People often say to me, ” I bet you don’t eat a thing.” Ha! Quite the opposite. I’m usually hungry and eat all day long. A few weeks ago I started going weekly meal prep, so I have all my lunches and smacks ready to go and I just have to grab it on the way out the door. One f m new favorites is a take on dirty rice:

    Measure 1 cup of brown rice, 2 cups of water, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a medium pot. Bring pot to a rolling boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer (without opening) for 40 minutes, making sure the water hasn’t all evaporated.

    Dice a red onion, finely chop 8 cloves of garlic, and slice 4 scallions. Cook vegetables with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes until browned, stirring and breaking up chunks with a spoon. Add diced red pepper and yellow pepper, season with garlic powder, thyme, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste and cook for a few minutes longer. Stir in half a bunch of cilantro, finely chopped. Stir in cooked brown rice and adjust seasonings to taste.


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  • Break Your Ropes

    Sunday, March 20, 2016 No tags Permalink



    To Be A Slave Of Intensity

    Friend, hope for the guest while you are alive.
    Jump into experience while you are alive!
    Think…and think…while you are alive.
    What you call ‘salvation’ belongs to the time before death.

    If you don’t break your ropes while you’re alive,
    do you think
    ghosts will do it after?

    The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
    Just because the body is rotten –
    that is all fantasy.
    What is found now is found then.
    If you find nothing now,
    you will simply end up with an apartment in the City of Death.
    If you make love with the divine now, in the next life you will have the face of satisfied desire.

    So plunge into the truth, find out who the Teacher is,
    Believe in the Great Sound!

    Kabir says this: When the guest is being searched for, it is the intensity of the longing for the Guest that does all the work.
    Look at me, and you will see a slave of that intensity.


    Methods are strategies, and strategies do not open the heart’s door. It has to be blown open by a great wind, the wind of love, which is the only thing that will truly carry you away. Kabir tells us to jump, to break your ropes, to plunge into the truth. This is all you can do when you have come to the end of your rope, to the end of all your strategies, and don’t know what else to do. It is a surrender, a falling in; not an act or an initiative, but a willing yielding to what is and has always been.

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  • If I Wanted a Boat { Poetry}

    Tuesday, March 8, 2016 No tags Permalink


    I would want a boat, if I wanted a

    boat, that bounded hard on the waves,

    that didn’t know starboard from port

    and wouldn’t learn, that welcomed

    dolphins and headed straight for the

    whales, that, when rocks were close,

    would slide in for a touch or two,

    that wouldn’t keep land in sight and

    went fast, that leaped into the spray.

    What kind of life is it always to plan

    and do, to promise and finish, to wish

    for the near and the safe? Yes, by the

    heavens, if I wanted a boat I would want

    a boat I couldn’t steer.

    -Mary Oliver

    Each time I try to take control, steering and holding on too tightly, I get lost. It’s so easy to want to steer every moment, every direction in life, to feel safe and secure in where we are headed. Or even, for the more relaxed among us, who steer our life more generally, allowing for a few false starts and leeward winds – to fix our eyes unwaveringly on the distant goal, the aim, the ever-moving target.


    Meditation is a practice in letting go. In meditation, a thousand things arise, and we let them go Or at least we try to let them go. 😉

    Why practice letting go? Polly Young-Eisendrath made the following point about practicing mindfulness, but it applies to letting go as well:

    “The reason for learning… is not so that you can sit around and meditate. It’s like when you learn to drive a car in a parking lot. It’s not so you can drive that car in parking lots. You learn in the parking lot because it’s a restricted, safe area. When you [meditate] it’s like learning to drive in the parking lot. Then, in time, you take the car out onto the highway…. Practice is cultivated in order to get around in life….”

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  • Tiny Living

    Thursday, February 18, 2016 No tags Permalink

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    I am so enamored with this tiny house. I want one just like it (except in my decorating style) someplace outside the city. I want peace and quiet and the privacy to sit in my bathrobe (or less) and sip my morning cup of tea on the back patio in the warm morning sunshine.  I want a little garden so I can grow my own fresh veggies and herbs and the rest of the yard can be wild flowers or other naturalized growth. Grass is a waste of resources and energy. I want bird feeders so I can watch the birds as I sip the aforementioned tea.  I want books and bubble baths.  Long bicycle rides and sunset walks. The only extravagance I’d add would be a jacuzzi on the patio. Because have ever soaked in the hot water on a cool evening and just watched the stars up in the sky? It’s amazing. 

    I don’t want to sit in an office all day for the rest of my life.  It’s slowly sucking away my soul. While I am good at what I do, I don’t like it. I find no satisfaction in it.  What’s that line from a song? “I have seen your nine to fives wash away your dreams.”

    I’d rather write code and work with people, probably seniors, to help them live a healthier, more active life.  I want a simple life.

    I can finally admit that I’d like a companion to share all of this with. I’ve spent most of my adult life alone. I’ve struggled with finally admitting that at times I have been, and sometimes am, lonely. I don’t know why, but I’d rather say that I’m an ax murdered than lonely.  However, I truly enjoy my own company, I know how to take care of myself, and I know how to be alone.  (Hey, I’m an introvert, so at times I need to be alone, or at least around someone who understands introverts. I think introverts are so misunderstood.  For example– introverts aren’t shy!) I realized that all of those things actually makes me pretty damn good company.  The most beautiful part to loving a guarded girl is this: when she lets you in, it’s not because she needs you. She stopped needing people a long time ago. It’s because she wants you. And that – that is the purest love of all.

    I don’t want a lot of money or fancy things. The older I get, the more I realize that it isn’t about material things, or pride, or ego.  It’s about our hearts and who (and what) they beat for.

  • Ch-ch-ch-changes

    Friday, January 15, 2016 No tags Permalink

    Quite àpropos for this week.

    Like many of us, I’ve had my fair share of the bottom falling out in my life. At the time, I thought that it was the worst thing, and hat my life was falling apart. I suppose it was falling apart, but that allowed forced me to make changes.  Fortunately, it not longer takes ruin to force me to change. It’s not always easy, and it’s certainly not always painless, but it’s necessary.

    Elizabeth Gilbert sums it up so well:

    Let me begin by saying that the ruin I’m talking about here is not something I would encourage anyone to ever deliberately seek. I’ve seen people who chase darkness and destruction on purpose (sometimes for the glamour of it, sometimes for the romance of it, sometimes for the sheer self-hatred of it) and this is not a path that I am capable of endorsing for anybody.

    No, I’m talking about the ruin that happens to you, without you ever seeing it coming. The chaos that sneaks up on you.

    Because sometimes the bottom falls out of our lives. People leave us. Precious certainties are yanked away. We lose our health, our money, our gifts, our faith, our familiar surroundings, our trust. All the truths that we thought we could believe in forever suddenly depart us with no warning. The ground that we always knew was solid under our feet turns out to have been nothing but a trap door all along. (And then there’s another trap door under that one.) We disappoint ourselves. We are disappointed by others. We get dead lost. We are no longer longer recognizable to ourselves when we look in the mirror. It all falls to ruin.

    And that, my friends, is when things start to get really interesting.

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  • Welcome, New Year!

    Thursday, December 31, 2015 No tags Permalink


    I love these questions! However, I’m not going to answer them here, because some things are too personal even for my “private” blog. My favorite question is number 5, when did I feel most alive? I think the answer to that question can tell us a lot about what is most important in life. I actually picture this precise moment in my head over and over again, it was that profound.

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  • Civil War {Poetry}

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 No tags Permalink

    Civil War {To those who need it the most}


    I do not love you for your

    strength and grit, for your set jaw,

    for the harsh cartography of your knuckled fist.

    I do not love you for your

    sharp corners.

    I rub your tensed wrist like

    a pliant mouth, I wait for spread

    fingers and vulnerable palm:

    a hollow nest to dream in.

    I want the hurt you soothe like an

    ulcer in your mouth, your nighttime terror

    your raw-eyed vulnerability:

    these un-armored parts which

    are mine alone.

    Darling you are not at war.

    Slow down, breathe deep, drop your guard.

    No one is chasing you but me.

    -Joanna Joseph

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  • T.G.I.M.

    Monday, November 30, 2015 No tags Permalink


    Be the kind of person who makes the best out of a Monday. You know those people who live only for the weekends? They’re wishing their lives away. Find something worth living for every day or else you’ll look back and realize you missed out on the best part of your life. The best advice my grandma ever gave me was “don’t wish your life away”.

    What do you love doing that you aren’t doing? It’s your right to be alive every second of the day. You’re not supposed to spend 8 hours a day in chains and the remaining 4 getting high on mental and physical distraction in order to cope with the depression of not doing what you should, what you really want, what you need to be doing.


  • History

    Sunday, November 22, 2015 No tags Permalink


    I usually don’t talk much about politics around here, or period. However, I’m bracing myself for the onslaught of horrible comments from my extended family on Thanksgiving. My son and I have an escape plan, me that involves spending less than 90 minutes in their company.

    this weekend, I watched a PBS show on the fall of Saigon. I was pretty young at the time, so I only have vague memories of it. More than 120,000 Vietnamese fled, but the question was what to do with all the refugees. President Ford worked the phones, called in some favors, and found places in Canada and the U.S. for the refugees to live. Interesting. I’d be curious to know how much opposition Ford faced from the general public.

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  • Object

    Sunday, October 18, 2015 No tags Permalink


    …The men eyed her with the automatic mix of curiosity, lust, and aesthetic judgment they always gave women, subject to object, the way you’d stare at an animal. She pretended not to notice. To remind them she was a person was too much effort. Objects bore no guilt.”
    ― Janet Fitch, Paint it Black

    Staring is bad enough (and creepy), but harassment is something else altogether.  I, for one, am sick and tired of it.  Just in the past two weeks I’ve been harassed three times.

    Hollaback, a national organization created to end street harassment, defines it as such: Street harassment is a form of sexual harassment that takes place in public spaces. At its core is a power dynamic that constantly reminds historically subordinated groups (women and LGBTQ folks, for example) of their vulnerability to assault in public spaces. Further, it reinforces the ubiquitous sexual objectification of these groups in everyday life.

    One woman shares her experiences:

    “I do things like put my hair up in a certain way that means it’s hard to be grabbed at or if I’m really scared holding my keys between my fingers […] I wear my headphones with the music turned up in town so I don’t have to hear catcalls. I walk at a certain distance from groups of men in front of me. If they are behind me, I take a different route. This is all just normal to me now. It’s normal for a lot of women I know. It’s everyday.”


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  • Amber Light

    Monday, August 31, 2015 No tags Permalink


    “It is the amber light indicating the end of the great burst of 
summer and suggesting that we must now start looking forward to autumn. Not that I have any objection 
to autumn as a season, full of its own beauty; but I just cannot bear to see another summer go, and I recoil 
from what the first hint of autumn means.”
    Vita Sackville-West – from Even More for Your Garden


    This evening, for this first time this year, the light had an amber look to it. I can’t believe tomorrow is the first day of September. Fall is pretty, but I know what comes next. I’d better enjoy warm weather while I can. It’s supposed to be 92 tomorrow, so that should work. 😉

    Just look at that pretty light this evening!

  • Vast

    Thursday, July 2, 2015 No tags Permalink


    Isn’t that the truth? Some days I do question what life is trying to teach me. I was just going about my peaceful day, getting in a good workout when a text message from “Seattle” popped onto my phone.  “I’ve been thinking so much about you lately.” No. Just, no.  It felt like a swift kick to the stomach. Still, after all these years.  At least now it’s much easier to shake it off and not let it derail my whole day. I told Seattle no years ago. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But in my heart, I know that it was the right thing to do. Loving someone should not have to hurt that much. I don’t know if I’ve ever loved anyone that was actually good for me. Just once in my life, I’d like that to happen. Is that too much to ask? Probably.  And that’s okay, because it has to be okay.

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  • Roots/Wings

    Thursday, May 21, 2015 No tags Permalink

    Heart wants roots

    I’m still not sure which one will win. I do know it has to be one or the other, you can have it both ways. Can you?

    Right now, above all, what I want is rest. It’s been a mentally and emotionally draining and intense week.  I’m headed into a much-needed 4 day weekend and I plan on using it to tend to my body and soul.  Planting flowers on my patio, a nice, long bike ride, a good book (or two), a trip to the farmer’s market, and perhaps I’ll even pick up my long-neglected camera. It would do me good to get out of my head for a while.

  • Suck It Up, Buttercup

    Monday, March 23, 2015 No tags Permalink

    Do you ever have those days where everything is just…blah? For no good reason. Or maybe for lots of so-so reasons. I’m not sure. As my mother loves to tell me, “This too shall pass”. She’s right, of course. I go one step further and love to say “Suck it up, buttercup”. I say it so much that my son found this shirt and told me that I must buy it:

    Suck it up, buttercup

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  • The Present Moment

    Friday, March 13, 2015 No tags Permalink

    present moment

    “This moment is not life waiting to happen, goals waiting to be achieved, words waiting to be spoken, connections waiting to be made, regrets waiting to evaporate, aliveness waiting to be felt, enlightenment waiting to be gained. No. Nothing is waiting. This is it. This moment is life.”

    “Why does it often take extreme life situations to bring back an awareness of the magic and mystery of life? Why do we often wait until we’re about to die before discovering a deep gratitude for life as it is? Why do we exhaust ourselves seeking love, acceptance, fame, success, or spiritual enlightenment in the future? Why do we work or meditate ourselves into the grave? Why do we postpone life? Why do we hold back from it? What are we looking for exactly? What are we waiting for? What are we afraid of? Will the life we long for really come in the future? Or is it always closer than that?”
    ― Jeff Foster, The Deepest Acceptance


    What’s here and now is all there is . For years, I’ve struggled with this fact. Most of us know this to be true in our heads, but integrating it into our daily living is another thing. It’s a practice, one that must stay a part of our awareness if we hope to be released from suffering. Anger, resentment, fear, jealously, worry, doubt—these are all things that can feel very real to us when we are experiencing them. However, they are of the mind, and just excuses to hang on to yesterday or to live in tomorrow.

    I’ve made some mistakes in the past, some huge ones at that. “If only I had done things differently” used to play in my head over and over. I finally realized that way of thinking was taking me away from my present experience. When I live in the past or future, I miss out on the freedom and peace in the now. The Vacuum Law of Prosperity states that “two things cannot take up the same space, so we must let something go before the new can enter.” That is to say there must be a space for the incoming blessings of the here and now before you’re able to receive them. Clear out all the old junk, make peace with it and let it go. The more I’m able to do that, the more I’m enjoying my life now. Simple everyday things bring me immense joy when I’m actually present and fulling experiencing them.

  • Hello, 2015!

    Thursday, January 1, 2015 No tags Permalink


    I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know how the idea started, but it seems like a good way to set yourself up for failure. I don’t think anyone needs more of that. Besides, every day is a new beginning, a opportunity for a fresh start, not just January 1. There’s nothing magical about that date.

    Instead, I’ve actively chosen to be grateful for who I am and what I have right now.  That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like some things in my life to be different– I do.  I’m actively taking steps to make those things happen,  each and every day.  Tiny, baby steps.  It is amazing to me how challenging it can be to let go of things, even when those things are the root of our suffering.  I’ve gotten so much better at that over the years, but it is an on-going process.

    “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.” ~ This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life


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  • Compassionate Abiding

    Monday, December 8, 2014 No tags Permalink

    This is a great article on Pema Chodron and letting go.  Sometimes I have a hard time giving things the space that they need.

    Despite facing a variety of painful obstacles and difficulties in life, people are often hesitant to describe their experiences as “suffering.” It’s typically a word reserved for the most extreme tragedies — war, poverty, death — but American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön says that each of us knows what it is like to suffer.

    Spiritually, Chödrön uses this word to describe times that are disruptive, that give us anxiety or despair. It can be anything from the loss of a job to a family conflict, but the common thread is clear: “Suffering” refers to anything unwanted that makes you uncomfortable.

    “In another way, it’s sometimes translated as ‘discontent,'” Chödrön says.

    So how can we best deal with our discontent, or suffering? Chödrön says that we must first accept that what has happened has really happened, and not resist it or push it away. Then, she says, practice this simple visualization exercise.

    “You breathe it in,” Chödrön says. “It’s as if you breathe it into your heart and your heart just gets bigger and bigger. Every time you breathe in, the heart gets bigger and bigger, so that no matter how bad it feels, you just give it more space. So when you breathe in, you’re open to it, I guess you could say. And then when you breathe out, you just send out a lot of space.”

    This exercise opens you up emotionally and spiritually, but can also initiate what feels like a physical change as well.

    “Sometimes I say, ‘What does your heart feel like?’ People will say, ‘It feels like a rock.’ What does your stomach feel like? ‘It feels like a knot. It’s as if my whole body was clenched… because I’m so miserable,'” Chödrön says. “So, breathe in and let that heart open. Let the stomach open.”

    Do six deep in-breaths, she suggests. It’s a practice that Chödrön calls “compassionate abiding,” and with it comes an enlightened view of the world’s connectivity: You are not alone.

    “When you breathe in, you can recognize that all over the world — right now and in the past and in the future — people are going to feel exactly what you’re feeling now. A feeling of being rejected. The feeling of being unloved. The feeling of insecurity. The feeling of fear. Rage.” Chödrön says. “Human beings have always felt this and always will. And so you breathe in for everyone that they could welcome it, that they could say, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’ Embrace it.”