You Are Love


I’m a victim of rape. Did you know that about me, dear reader? It’s one of the most heinous and evil violations done to another. Far beyond a legal crime, it’s a crime against humanity. There is the physical act, but there is also the spiritual karma generated; an energy interaction that transcends the physical. Causing a wound that takes enormous fortitude to heal. But, like all wounds – it can heal.

It must be part of my soul’s journey, that my healing process be long, deep and hard. As healing this part within myself was that, and more. Yet, for all that was taken from me, I have given back to myself ten fold. And Source has given back to me a hundred fold. This I know to be true.

If there is a purpose within such an act, I feel it is that we use it to help those who have endured similar. You see, dear reader, I understand far more than I let on. I understand what it feels like to be hurt beyond heart-break. I know the walk to heal a broken soul. I know the battle to overcome shame. I know how it feels to have someone steal a part of who you are. Abuse is abuse. It is a crushing blow that can cripple you until your final day.

I don’t believe in happenstance. I believe events happen for a reason. I may die not having understood them all. But it was after this event that I began to see within people. I began to see their soul. And although this has been a bitter gift at times, I still wouldn’t trade it.

More than anything, it blossomed in me a level of compassion for the abused and disempowered that, to this day, is the basis of my spiritual world. Yet the flower had already been growing. People may damn their unstable upbringings. But for me, mine birthed a flower that became a soul that feels most at home deep within the world that sits just behind the one our human mind sees. I suppose it entered knowing it was destined for such a journey, and I know that I know that it was pleased with what it saw coming. Not because the events would be joyful. But because they were necessary if ever I were to fulfill my purpose. And that purpose is to be an example of love. And often that love stands in the face of all that love is not.

The times I have acted in love amidst the absence of love is numerous. I could damn God for such experiences. Having done so, I know what I would hear, “The example needs to be shown to those who most need to see it.” I live for the moments where I bear witness to love.

Tonight I’m sitting with a nice Côtes du Rhône, good chocolate and good music. I’m sitting with candles lit and I’m peacefully, and sometimes tearfully, reflecting on my life. I’m allowing God to unearth in me all that needs my attention. Things that make me smile. Things that make me cry. Both have value. I’m taking stock of how I’ve done thus far. Life is an endless cycle of opportunities. We are confronted with people of all kinds, carrying out deeds good and bad. Sometimes we become the victim. But later, we get the chance to see that we became a survivor. The Good Book says not to hide one’s light. That light is your truth. It is your hero’s journey. Share it. Help another to heal. Help another feel less alone. If you share your bumpy story, then another will feel less judgmental about their own. That is love.

Love who you are, my friend. You’ve been through a lot. And sometimes it doesn’t feel as though it will ever end. Just remember, you are loved. All the things that have been done to you, are not who you are. Who you are is determined by what you have done in the face of those things. Someone tried to take something from me. They succeeded. And it took years to heal. It took years of nurturing. But, for everything they took, I’ve added. My love is more tender, more authentic, more steadfast and true. Its raw and its nuanced and its spiritual beyond words. I remember ever baby step and every far reach it took to get here. I remember ever muscle ache and bit of fatigue. Not to mention how life looks when brought continually onto one’s knees, surrendered in prayer. With every agonizing bit of growth came a feathery soft, encompassing hug from heaven. Every pivotal event in my life has caused me to discover something new about myself.

To this day I cry as softly and delicately as I laugh. When I make love, heaven joins me. When I speak, something sometimes pushes my voice aside to share a deeper truth. When I look upon this world, I see the profound beauty mixed with actions that show how dark people can be. Within a person’s eyes, I see their soul and I see their struggles. I see their truth and I see their lies.

I was eighteen when someone broke into my garden, and tried to take the beautiful flowers within me. Little did they know, those flowers had roots. And once the rain had time to pour down and the sun had time to shine, the flowers returned. So remember, dear reader, I understand. Life can be brutal. But you are strong. And within you is everything you need to blossom. No one can take that away. No one can take away Who You Are. Only you have that level of power.


Written while listening to: Into the Mystic by Van Morrison (if ever I marry again, this will be my wedding song) and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

Being Beautiful


I have never felt beautiful. So yesterday, while walking by a group of people, a man and woman turned to look at me; first at my face, then my shirt. They did what so many do – they sized me up. Then I did what almost all of us do, I joined them. Its an odd thing how our ego is poised and ready to tear us down.

Truthfully, I spent the majority of my life never feeling beautiful. It wasn’t until the last few years of my life that I’ve come to know my beauty. But it isn’t the kind of beauty the media likes to persuade us into believing is most important. The kind of beauty of which I speak is inner beauty, which is what we feel and others see. What we are on the inside is always revealed on the outside. For me, it wasn’t until my dark night of the soul that I came to understand what stood between me and believing in myself. It wasn’t until, out of sheer exhaustion with life that I found myself staring into the eyes of the demon that had plagued me since my earliest days.

The demon of which I speak is the kind we all have. It lives and breathes in the darkness of our shadow. Its voice is often weaved through the voice of ego. Its constant declaration is that we are not good enough. That we will never be what we want to be. We will never have what we want to have. It bounces around. Its target and diatribe ever shifting the blame. But the core of its message remains – you are nobody. And everyone knows. Who do think you are? You will never be as beautiful as others. You will never be smart enough. You’re a failure. Life stinks. You stink.

Depending upon what has happened to you in your life, the shadow side can cast an overwhelming presence. Which explains why so many avoid it at all costs. And, there is a cost. We pay greatly when we turn our back on this side of ourself. Like an untended garden, the weeds of our fears begin to overtake all that is beautiful and healthy. Dear reader, I had reached my end, which is what led to my dark night of the soul. I really had nowhere else to go but to travel deep within myself and confront my fears.

But within this darkness, I discovered, there is Light. And there is a mirror. We get to see Who We Are. Even when surrounded by all the falsehoods I had believed about myself for nearly four decades, I was shown a Light that allowed me to see past the illusion of my fears. And when I shined the light, the darkness became illuminated. There was great beauty there. There was Love. A love that had the ability to strengthen me to stand up against my deepest fears. When I did, the demon went into submission. And my life has never been the same since.

But like with all things, I have to keep a watch on it. There are times, when a side glance from a stranger will bring that demon to life. Once again, it will try to override my thoughts. Its up to me to shine the Light back onto it. I’ve seen it for what it is. It isn’t big. It’s small. That’s why it fought so wildly within me like a small, crazed animal. It didn’t have mass on its size.

As I mulled around with my daughter yesterday, I gave thought to what had occurred. I gave pause to all the thoughts that sprung to life within me. You see, dear reader, I was wearing one of the shirts from my women’s empowerment clothing line. It was the I AM shirt. The design, upon first glance, is simple. Its message, at least to me, profound. Surrounding the words: I AM, are all the words I spent a lifetime believing I wasn’t: I AM beautiful, healthy, radiant, love, peace, abundance, success, joy, enough. And because we can never see in others what we can’t see within ourselves, I never saw any of these things in my life. All I use to see was a shifty world with people, places and things that I couldn’t count on. Life didn’t feel beautiful to me. I didn’t feel beautiful to me.

But life is, and so am I. Not the kind of beauty that ego tries to say is the measure of success. No. In fact, the core of my Being doesn’t give a damn what others think. My ego does. Within myself I finally found my beauty. It was there all along. It is singular to me. It’s kind. It’s nurturing. It’s peaceful. It’s strong when protecting, soft when loving. It is Love. Under all those layers of insecurity and fear, is Love. And love is beauty. Its within us all. So when I wear my I AM tee, its my way of reminding myself that its okay to recognize my beauty. Actually, it’s a hard won victory being able to do so. And it’s a victory that finally allowed me to recognize it in others. I may not be a Covergirl or a super model. I look like me. And within me is someone I’ve come to love greatly. I am the kind of beautiful that means something to me.


Silver Linings


We can only be that which we believe. So if your beliefs do not bring you joy – change them. Amidst all the madness inherent to being human, there is a silver lining: You are allowed to rebuild.

Those who want only to laugh must first know happiness. Those who want to feel love must first be love. To experience abundance one must feel the essence of abundance, despite outward appearances. This is where appreciation is key. Our outlook mirrors our beliefs. How we feel inside, whether it is damning or liberating, negative or positive, is the blueprint upon which the universe builds the life we’ll soon be experiencing.

For some, these words are freedom. To others, these words are a prison, as they feel locked to a reality that is in direct contrast to what they want for themselves. And yet almost every spiritual text states the same process: Believe, then receive.

We can not change what we do not recognize and know. The words said within our mind are linked to what we believe deep inside. So take the time to discover your inner truths. Give yourself a week of believing that the best in life is yours, then listen to what your mind has to say. As the days unfold, circumstances will arise – they always do. Your beliefs will be put to the test. Listen. The inner dialogue you hear is your inner truth. And if that inner truth is not in alignment with the life you want to live, then the life you want to live will never find you. You can not rebuild a home if you do not first know the structural integrity of the foundation. These truths, are your foundation; they have been orchestrating your life whether you were aware of it or not. Become aware. Know what beliefs dwell within you. If they bring you joy, good. If they do not, good – now you know where to begin.

Knowledge is power. Empower yourself. By knowing your weaknesses you give yourself strength. Burn down the walls, and build a foundation that knows you are worthy of love; then choose to look at yourself with a soft, loving eye. Mix into the concrete the belief that you contain the same energy held within a mighty oak; then choose to stand tall, knowing you are meant to flourish. And finally, set the cornerstones of your foundation with pillars of laughter. Know that when you choose to feel joy, even in the smallest of things, you increase your magnetic pull on the universe. Joy is the indicator of your connection to All That Is.

Take the next week and examine your foundation. You may be surprised by what you find when you walk down the steps and enter the cellar of your inner being. Don’t be sad. Instead, smile, and remember – you can always rebuild. So don’t be afraid to burn down the house.


Based on the post, Burning Down the House, August 25, 2013

Daily Refinement


refinement |riˈfīnmənt|
The process of removing impurities or unwanted elements from a substance.
The improvement or clarification of something by the making of small changes.

I think it’s fair to say that our soul is on a journey of refinement. And this planet allows us everything we need to accomplish the mission.

People enter into our life, and with them arrives countless opportunities to learn more about ourselves. One would think that when we meet another, that’s all we’re doing – meeting them. And although that is an important part of the process, we are also meeting a plethora of aspects of our inner being. This happens not just when meeting people, but also when meeting different circumstances. The good, the bad. The blissful, the horrific. Each one is a gift when it comes to our spiritual development.

Believe me, dear reader, when I say that those moments and people who lean toward hurtful, or what is upsetting, are not viewed as a gift by my mind. At least not at first. But if I can override my mind, and refrain from judging, something magical happens. I meet a new aspect of who I am. Am I reactionary? Or am I calm? Are my actions mean? Or are they loving? I have been all of these things. Which has, at times, led me to believe that I have either achieved something or failed something. Neither is completely true. Awareness is a process. Even when we are able to climb the ladder another rung, we’re still moving. There’s still a process underway.

But that’s what life gives us, an unceasing array of people, places, and things, from which to discover – inwardly and outwardly – something about ourselves and those around us. That is why meditation is vital, it provides a break from the external. And thereby helps fortify and steady us when the external kicks back in.

There is a sticky spot, though. It is when we have become aware but are still resistant to our own growth. Quite honestly, it’s hell on earth. The internal struggle is phenomenal. I’ve often referred to those moments within my own life as having gone under. As that is how they felt to me. Dark and underwater. But in time, something within me recedes, the cloudy water clears, and I am able to see the stones on the ocean floor once again. But that is a hard battle. It is much easier to learn to float. Or dive when I choose.

When we are aware of our own journey, when we begin to glimpse what is behind the earthly veil, we see the road to salvation; freedom. We can either walk it or fight it. But it’s fair to say, your soul knows you are being refined and that Life is trying to help you find every impurity and unwanted element within yourself. If you fight it, then it will be left on a continual loop. But if you release and lean into what’s being shown, things become clarified. You have much more aha moments than you have God damn moments.

I’m far from a polished stone. There are still flecks within me and some raw edges. But with each day, with each experience, I am allowed to see what is off within myself and thereby own it, love it, and release it. It’s how the heart is made pure. The more I love me, the more I love life and its inhabitants. So, take a look at how you are being refined. Take strength in knowing, dear reader, that your heart is worth the work. Source knows it. Your soul knows. You are a magnificent work in progress.


Who Shows Up

Who Shows Up

“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” ~ Yehuda Berg

I feel one of the most vital lessons within one’s spiritual practice is to become aware of who shows up within ourselves. And life, being the gracious host to our spiritual development that it is, provides us ample encounters by which to meet who does.

It is one thing to sit in meditation and express soft words of praise to God and all of humanity while alone. It is a completely different thing to offer such kindness when met with the many individuals who make up humanity. We aren’t here to solely be kind to those who are kind to us, even if such a thing fills our heart immensely. People like that, I look at as nourishment. They help fill me and prepare me for those who drain my heart and challenge my kindness.

People will enter our life that do both, fill us and drain us, challenge and empower us. Both serve a purpose. They allow us to see who we are inside. Who is buried under our physical shell. Our heart is revealed by how we treat others.

When we want to know who we are, look first at who shows up within yourself when met with Life. Do you step out of your own mind, with all of its many judgements and stories and validations, to be open and kind? Do you try? Or do you let yourself off the hook with a reason why you can’t? Life gives us countless opportunities to bring to Light who we truly are. And as much as it might seem as though it is doing this to show others who we are, I don’t believe it is. I believe it’s to show us who we are. If you are like me, dear reader, you may not always like who shows up. Its part of the process. Its the only way for us to finally deal with all that rests within. But, it’s what we do with what we see, that matters. Once you begin to pay attention, you will see how the hand of Spirit is trying to bring everything within you out and into the Light. That is the only way you will ever fully know who you are, and make all of your fragmented pieces part of the greater whole. And from there, you can live wholeheartedly. Not because you have vanquished parts of yourself that seemed rotten. No. Instead, you brought them into the Light and healed what was once very dark. You learned from it. You healed it. And then took this newly healed and enlightened part of yourself and returned it to the fold.

When I am at a loss as to how to behave. When it feels like everyone I meet is ‘causing’ me pain, disappointment or just plain frustration, I try to hit pause. Then, I try to be who I would want showing up for me. I try to be for them, and for the world, who I would like to see. This may or may not change the situation in front of me. But I’m not doing it for that purpose. I am doing it so that I can, at the very least, be true to myself and offer the world a mirror that reflects Love. Showing the world a wholehearted mirror is not easy. In fact, its one of the most painful experiences of my life. But it is also deeply rewarding. Because every now and again, it is reflected back to me. And that is bliss.

So dear reader, as you go about your long weekend, and life unfolds its multitude of experiences in the guise of people, places and things – notice who shows up within you. And remember: Be who you want to see. Be kind. Be patient. Be supportive. Be Love.


Tending the Soil


I have great appreciation for gardens, but do not possess of my own a green thumb. By no stretch of the imagination would one call me a gardener. But I am becoming skilled when it comes to weeding through those things that grow within my mind, heart and being.

With deliberateness, I plant seeds in the fertile ground of my soul. And with equal consciousness, I uproot all that grows within me that chokes the life from those things I want to see flourish. Seeds of fear, doubt and mistrust grow with the same remarkable speed as those in a physical garden; sometimes growing next to that of the newly planted seedling one has worked hard to cultivate, making it difficult to tell the two apart.

But a good gardener knows. The trick, is to pluck the new seedling, before it has a chance to pull our focus from the newly developing seeds of love, hope and trust. Sometimes, due to hastiness, misguided eagerness or for the sake of appearances, we glean all visual signs of the weeds from the soils surface. In the process, the roots are left to grow deeper. And before long, a more robust plant takes its place.

It amazes me the weeds that grow within me. Painstakingly, I carefully dig the spade within my self and gently uproot that which no longer serves me. Due to such, I can not look at anyone else’s garden and criticize. The wayward weeds that grow within them are merely the outpouring of an untended soul. We all have weeds.

I’d like to say that my weeds are all of the tender young variety; easily yanked from the ground and done away with. But that isn’t the case. Some have stalks rivaling that of a small tree. And when pulling them from the ground it requires a bit of methodical releasing of the soil that surrounds them; rocking of the plant to loosen them; then finally a mighty pull.

My garden, you see, is far from flawless. But my eye is forever scanning its surface. My intention is forever tilling the soil. And unlike some who turn their back on what rests within, I walk the rows within me as if a form of meditation. I like the way the soil of my soul feels on my bare feet; much like I do in the physical world. I see no flaw in admitting to one’s weeds. And I gladly help others uproot theirs. There are times, when I too need to call in a helping hand or two. Sometimes a pair of fresh, sincere eyes, can spot the weed taking root under one’s flourishing growth of new formed trust. And, like I said, there are times when what is within me requires the metaphysical equivalent of a tractor with chain. I’ve had all of this within me, at one time or another. Because of such, I understand the efforts required when one finally finds the courage to open the gate of their heart, and begins walking amongst the growth of their soul. At times, it’s absolutely startling what has sprouted and awaits our discovery.

It is up to us to decide what grows within us. Nothing is there without our choosing. And please know that doing nothing is still a choice. So, tend to your garden. Once the soil has been released from the burden of nourishing the weeds – you will be amazed at what comes to life.


First published, January 2013

Good Grief


I woke today missing my mother so deeply I cried. And the tears seemed to cascade into every piece within me that feels broken, abandoned and utterly exhausted. I’m not sure if a soul can suffer from exhaustion. But there are times when mine feels so tired that I’m convinced it can.

Grief has a funny way of changing one’s life. Just the thought of losing someone can unearth within us things of which we weren’t even aware. Losing someone outright, well dear reader, that offers its own path of discovery. And from what I can tell the only way to get to the other side of grief, is by grieving. I come from a long line of people who hardened themselves against expansive emotions. Either by way of pure stoic strength or numbing themselves with alcohol, we didn’t show much emotion. God forbid we admit such a thing as crying, as it surely meant we were falling apart. When, in the case of what I’m feeling today, perhaps I’m falling together.

Emotion is meant to be felt; to point to an important part within ourselves. Sometimes emotion points to bits and pieces within us that need to be gathered up and mended. Sometimes it points to gifts that were meant to be cultivated and shared with the world. Whether pointing out our fears or pointing out our joys, either way, emotions are very much like our own internal GPS system meant to navigate us along our Divine path.

Its only been four months since losing my mother. And during those months I often found myself wishing life would give me a Get Out Of Jail Free card; something I could pull out and use to remind everyone that within me rests a heart that is hurting; one where a low-level dull ache has taken up residency. And behind every emotion I feel, both the good and the not so good, rests this ache. So tread lightly. But life doesn’t seem to offer such a thing. Instead, I feel like I’m pressed to keep offering my very best, to stand in the line of fire, to tip toe onto the farthest precipices of faith – all while feeling I’m only partially as whole as I use to be.

During the times when I am able to allow grief to do what it needs to do, I’ve taken note of the emotions that have surfaced. Some are more ugly than I’d like. There has been a fair share of the why me’s? Haven’t I endured enough? All the typical self-centered utterances of ego. Then there are the emotions that sit closer to my core. The one’s where I simply feel the emptiness of never being held by my mom, again, or the flash of penetrating loss when I go to send her a text to share a moment I know she’d enjoy – but realize I can’t.

I feel tired, dear reader. I feel as though I’m being pushed beyond my limits as of late. And grieving is only adding to the push. Then the soft voice of Spirit whispers within me. Yes, I know it feels that way, dear child. And, in many ways you are right, you are being pushed. You are growing. You are expanding into a more authentic version of yourself. A version that is ever more closely aligned with me. Stay strong. Don’t give up. It will all make sense in time. But know this, my child, the grieving is allowing you to open spaces within yourself that wouldn’t be opened otherwise. And your mother is helping you to do that.

So I cry some more. Most of all, I allow myself to cry. Why it is we humans get so wrapped up in prohibiting ourselves from feeling all that we need and are intended to feel, I don’t know. But we do. So today, dear reader, if you feel any of these things that I’ve shared with you, know that you are not alone. And what Spirit said to me, it is also saying to you. Don’t resist the emotion that pushes you from deep within. It is there to help you take notice of something. We are here to grow, to expand and express and experience. Emotion is often the very thing that helps us navigate that expansion. There is a teaching voice behind every emotion. What is it saying? Either it points to what has been holding us back, or it points to what will help move us forward. So don’t smother it. Listen and explore it.