Category Archives: beauty

To Breathe Again

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I hadn’t expected to write tonight. But the stars shifted and the planets aligned. In other words, it’s a good day. I wouldn’t be surprised if my readers have all moved on by now. But always know this, eventually, I’ll be back. That’s how it goes when writing is your love. You never can ignore your love. It beckons you. You long for it. So, finally dear reader, I am here once again with you. Oh how glorious.

My world is just as it should be. All is dark and the music is softly playing with only the glow of my MacBook. I used to write to you while looking out on the vast horizon. I’d watch cars in the distance, miles away. Ever since moving from that one writing spot, I’ve struggled to write as I’d like. But its in my blood, it’s the one thing I always long to do. It’s what always feels right. I have to imagine its similar to how it feels when reunited with the one you love.

It’s that time again, isn’t it? We’ve reached the end of another year. I love this time. It’s as painful as it is joyous. It is the embodiment of who I am. The dichotomy of me. I am always caught between extremes. I am the one who loves to share laughter with friends, and yet, turns down side streets while walking her dog as to avoid others. I love silence. I love rooms filled with activity. I love the deepest parts of me that sit unmoved and steady. I love the parts of me that seem to stir at the slightest gust of the wind. I guess, this is why I’ve never truly felt as though I’ve fit in. Because I don’t. It took nearly five decades for me to be okay with that reality. I’ll probably spend the next few decades I have left helping others do the same. Because we should all feel good with who we are; whatever shape and style that is. It doesn’t matter. You are you for the reasons you are. Love it all. And perhaps once you do, then you’ll be less tormented and more peaceful. And isn’t that why we are all here – to enjoy the experience? If not, then why?

This time of year stirs up so much for so many. But the stirring isn’t bad. It’s a good thing, as hard as that is to believe. Do what I do, look at it. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t become it. Stay the observer. Allow the memories from your past, the good and the bad. Allow the grief of things lost. Allow the grief of things you never even had. That’s okay. Every bit of it reveals something about where you’ve been. Always good to see what’s been buried, because whether you realize it or not, you carry with you the stones you’ve tried to hide.

With every new year I take this motley mix that is me and think about who I am. I like the me that makes no sense. I’m not always sure what to do with me. But I like me. So I stand at the cusp of a new year owning every newly upturned stone, every quirky nuance, every soft emotion that sits on top of a very independent personality. I’ve gotten better at recognizing how God works through the personality that is me. And with every day I try to let the God within me show more.

For as soft-hearted as I appear, I am not such a passive player in my life. Instead, I like how it feels when I choose to trust in God; the God that moves the heavens; the God that resides within me; the God that finds its way into every song; the God that moves the seas; the God that lives within the trees. So to this new year, let us all be more okay with who we are.

I hope to be back more often in the upcoming year I will always be back, at some point. Because, eventually, I have to breathe.

Sane

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To Feel the Sky

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To say that its been awhile would be quite an understatement at this point. I always miss these moments – where my words and your thoughts whisper and mingle as they do. Bliss.

This I know for certain, dear reader, Spirit lives and breathes through the world around us. And that brings me to what led to tonight’s writing. A friend asked if I had anything to write, about Northern Michigan. I thought on it for a moment, not sure what I would write. More often than not these posts are about that which heals.

Then, as It always does, Spirit waited for me to catch on. I finally did.

I’ve never felt more connected to All That Is than here; with my feet grounded and nature surrounding me. It heals. And that is exactly how I grew up in Northern Michigan.

While growing, Northern Michigan gave me continual communion, and it still does. When I need to be embraced, I look to the trees. When I need to hear the voice of God, it’s there within the wind that speaks through the pines. And of course, there’s the water. Often the water feels like that of an altar. It’s where I go to cleanse all that troubles me. Never has it let me down.

As much as I look forward to warmer climates, a part of my very being will only feel at home when smelling the leaves as they surrender to autumn’s call. I grew up with that distinct perfume. I also grew up with the smell of hot ferns as they collected on the foot pegs of my dirt bike. Something about that smell heals me. I learned to be reckless and wild on dirt roads that twisted and turned through the woods. To this day, a dirt road still makes me smile. But it was also here that I’ve healed a million broken parts within myself. Its been under a Michigan moon that I’ve howled in desperation, and also given thanks. Nothing beats the healing power of a Michigan sky. And nothing feeds the soul better than a Michigan autumn sun. Just as it signals the trees to let go for the season, it signals me to stay in harmony with the ever-changing cycle that is life. We are meant to let go. I learned that from the trees. I’ve never learned one thing from a preacher. But I’ve learned volumes from nature. No right or wrong, it’s just who I am. The water taught me to be who I am, all that I am, and I’ve never looked back since. The long Michigan winters have shared with me their truth, don’t hide your darkness. Michigan does it with grace, as well as fury. Its a time to explore that which can not be appreciated during the long days of summer. And so it goes with me.

There’s a line from one of my favorite songs, “Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic.” I know the smell of the water that surrounds me and the feel of the sky above me. And even though these stars accompany me wherever I go, I know, I’m at home here. There’s something primal about communing with nature. The trees absorb me. I absorb them. For me, church is when I look out and see water like glass. Or enjoy the sermon of waves raging on high and the willows that sway like a soulful gospel choir. It’s all there, if the eyes can see. And its bliss if the heart is open to feel.

So I will end this tonight with a thank you. Thank you for the invitation to write about Northern Michigan. And thank you God. You showed me, when young, that You can always be found within the trees and the water and the stars. A church to which the door is always open. All inclusive. Ever welcoming. Always answering, even my most difficult of questions. Thank you for that.

Sane

Judge Me Not

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We are so much more than the labels put on us or the numbers associated with our life. One’s salary, savings or lack there of. One’s house value. Years of education. Pants size, shirt size or dress size. One’s color should not put them automatically into a compartment. One’s gender should have nothing to do with how they fight, live their life or what type of partner feels most right to them. Who you are has nothing to do with the stats that may, or may not, be associated with your journey. Dear reader, can you sense how tired of judgement I am?

And yet, it’s a profoundly human reaction to judge others. To size them up and then render verdicts inside our mind about who they are and what they believe. I say the hell with that.

In starting this women’s empowerment clothing line, I’m continually coming up against other people’s ideas about what this company should be.  Often, I have to pull back, take stock of all the decisions that have brought me to this point, noting if I’ve stayed true to my core principles – No Judgement. So as I get judged, sized up and put into a box, I have a choice. Show up as my highest self or get down and dirty to prove my point.

Truth is, I don’t need to prove anything. Nor do you. Our clothing is for all women. Even women who aren’t sure if they want to associate as women. If you like it and speaks to you, wear it. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too. Just know this, I have no desire to judge either way. I know how judgement feels. I know what it feels like to have someone take one look at me and size me up, incorrectly.

It took decades to shed the labels that have been thrown on me. Even the positive ones. I don’t like anything that limits. I’m me. I fumble and bumble my way along trying, always, to be my most authentic, best self. And when the impulse arises to judge another, and it always does, I try to harness the impulse before it develops into full-blown analysis and conclusion. It gets easier. Bottom line, if I don’t know you and you don’t know me. It should always start as a clean slate. Let me show you who I am by action and deed. Truth never can stay hidden. So give it time. Then decide.

This women’s empowerment clothing line doesn’t exclude anyone. Because all women could use empowerment in one form or another. Don’t be fooled to think otherwise. And I will continue to create affirmations that speak to all women, and do my damnedest to offer clothing that works for all women. It has been one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. It may sound easy, but manufacturers don’t cater to all women. So finding something that works with a size extra small all the way up the line, and looks beautiful and is made of good quality materials, has been enough to turn my hair silver. There is no right or wrong in my book, except for that of exclusion and judgement. And damn these manufucturers like to exclude.

So dear reader, let’s all do our part to make this world a better place by judging less and loving more. Start with you. You can’t offer to others what you can’t first offer to yourself. Try not to limit someone because of their gender, race or socioeconomic situation. Try not to judge yourself by these things as well. We are all evolving. We are all fumbling and bumbling along; some more gracefully than others, yes. But we’re all still on a journey just the same. So be open. Be kind.

Am I a single mother, twice divorced with a business bankruptcy sitting in my past? Am I a victim of rape? Do I fight like a girl? How many degrees do I hold or funds do I possess?  How do you classify me? You don’t. I’m a spiritually guided soul who is doing their best in this world. There is no label or box that could ever fit me. And that’s just the way I like it and God intended me to be. Most likely the same holds true for you.

Sane

You Are Magnificent

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Did you know that you’re magnificent? You may not have known that. Instead, you look at yourself and see all the things that don’t measure up. You see the parts within you that are broken and damaged and insecure. Maybe you see your past failures and the times you’ve let yourself down. Step back, dear reader. There is more to you than that. Let me whisper into your mind what I see.

You are like a good bottle of wine. Why? Wine is complicated. And that is precisely why I like it. You can not rush quality wine. You let it sit on your tongue, and you savor it. It’s similar to the human soul in that it’s a mixture of flavors, top notes and undertones. When balanced, each characteristic adds to the other. Out of balance, and its unpalatable. Balance is key. And so it is with you.

Everything that is you, is there for a reason. Everything. You are like that good bottle of wine, nuanced. Not everyone likes the same bottle of wine. We are singular. But there are those that will appreciate you. They will savor all that you have to offer. Trust me.

But first, find your balance. You can’t balance what you don’t know. Look at every little part that makes up you, and do so with eyes of appreciation. No one can look at you in a way that you, yourself, are unable to do.

I used to damn the parts of me that didn’t seem to fit in. I was too this or too that. It took some very dark nights on my knees in surrender before my eyes were opened and I was able to see how all the pieces within myself were purposefully placed; how each added to the other. I couldn’t see that before then. But damming myself had gotten too painful. I finally broke open, and surrendered my desire to be something I wasn’t, and began appreciating who I was. And that is what alignment with Source is – loving yourself – then you can feel the love of All That Is.

Take the time to discover yourself. Sit alone, savor who you are. A great spiritual teacher once said, “You have to love yourself when you are by yourself.”

You are not hear to please anyone. You are here to be you. And the more you settle into that, things will open up to you. Joy. Peace. Love. These are not things one can reach out and grab. They are treasures hidden within you, waiting for you to find. And they sit at the core of who you are. So get to know you. Ask yourself why you do what you do and feel the way you do. What are your fears? What are your dreams? The answers need to be released. Your heart needs to open. Let yourself breathe, dear reader. You are not called to be anything except who you are – your job is to discover who that is. Then live it. Be it. Enjoy it. The rest will follow.

Me? I will forever be a writer. I will forever be a mother. A Harley riding free spirit who loves to tip tables and help people see themselves for all of their God-given breathtaking beauty. I will always be poised, unless busy laughing. I will always be a blend of levity and philosophy; delicate yet strong. I will forever long to be in my church, nature, seated with eyes fixed lovingly on the setting sun or dancing in the moonlight. My hope is that those who know me, have come to experience the many nuances that, balanced together, soothe their soul when I touch their lives. And so it is with you. Now, sit with yourself for a while. Learn from your past, then let it go; holding on keeps you off-balance. Stand tall. Smile. You are magnificent. Now let yourself breathe.

Sane

Written while listening to, Shine by Mondo Cozmo and We Don’t Know by the Strumbellas.

Being Beautiful

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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.

Sane

Fuck the Dark Voice

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I’ve always found it odd how happiness doesn’t fuel my writing. Instead, the voice of wisdom tends to hit the page during times of turmoil, frustration or sadness. Not that the voice is these things. The voice is always steady, and embodies Love. But there’s something about those emotions that seems to work as a muse that nudges me to write. Due to such, here I am.

I have a few frustrations and disappointments encircling me. One involves a situation from which I’m having to step back. Truthfully, this is being done out of love; for myself and for the other. As a friend and as a spiritual healer, my motives have been called into question. A heartbreaking accusation, to say the least. I stood by my friend through thick and thin. But, these words can’t be undone. The hurt is near breathtaking.

If anything, I’m going to let the wicked words be the fuel that helps further bring forth Love and Light. Its my personal way of giving the Darkness a rowdy middle finger.

People have misconceptions about those of us called Light Workers. We come in all shapes and sizes and personalities. But we are human. We have feelings. We wrestle with the same grit as those who aren’t healers. And some of us, have enough piss and vinegar inside of us that we could easily, yet unintentionally, bowl you over. What I find the most entertaining is how Source has called forth some of its most testy healers, and imbued them into a human frame and energy that embodies a deep filter of Love. Meaning, we love with strength. We aren’t easily swayed or fooled. Something that pisses off ego more than I can say. But, we see the Light within, and because of that, we stay put. Until…we can’t.

This has been one of the things I’ve loved most about myself. When I love, I do so with steadfast determination and with a fierceness that can go to battle. Those closest to me know that I will and have walked through fire for those I love. I don’t want a pat on the back. What fills me is knowing that I aided someone during a dark, dark time.

I can’t turn off the voice that whispers words of wisdom, nor do I any longer try. It’s odd, but its me. I’ve learned how to distinguish its voice from that of my own. And at forty-six years of age I’ve learned that I can trust that voice better than I can trust the voice of any person. It’s never forsaken me. My job is to learn how to speak what that voice says – with Love. But sometimes what that voice wants shared is not the easiest to say. I guess, in part, that’s why I’m here. To share words that help heal and empower, but to do so with fierce Love. I surrender to that calling each and every morning. It’s who I am and I am humbled and honored. But don’t mess with me.

We all have such a backup. We all have such an inner power. We’re all here with purpose. Hell isn’t something you experience when dead, it’s here within your mind while alive. It’s the voice that lives and breathes in blame and shame and hurtful words. Its the voice that smears those who have stood beside you, then when they’ve been pushed far enough away, it turns its attacks on you. Where is heaven, then? Oh, dear reader, its right here, right now. Heaven is the peace of knowing you aren’t owned by that voice of doubt, any longer. Heaven is knowing your mind no longer turns all that is good into something bad. You step into heaven as soon as you take over what is inherently yours; your life. You never get to wield your inherently divine power over your life while hovering in a negative space.

People have this idea about spiritual healers. They see them as wisps that can be easily walked over due to their calling. Or are airy fairy and use woo woo sticks to connect to Mother Earth. Nothing could be further from the truth. True, they endure more than many could. But, they do so because of their purity of intention. They are sustained by the knowing that they are helping another find their way.

Sometimes healers look like what you would imagine, and then you have ones that look like me. Sometimes they ride Harleys and love the thrill of speed. We will tell you the truth like no one else. You can also count on us, like no one else. But believe you me, they can and will tell you to go fuck yourself. Not because they don’t love you, but because they do. But for the most part, they sit and wait. And when you’re ready, they remind you of your worth and that there’s much work to do, so get going. You aren’t alone.

As for me, I’m going to grieve, breathe and recharge, then let the Divine restore me. Then I will return to what the Universe has me do – help empower those who have forgotten how powerful they are. Not ego power. But Divine grace that rests within each and every one of us. You are amazing. Pitch the lens of fear. And look at the world through the lens of Love. Then you will see that life has been trying to work with you, not against you. Oh, and dear reader, if you find yourself wondering if you are listening to the voice of Love or the voice of egoic fear, ask yourself how you feel. If you feel good – completeness from within – that’s Love. If you feel dreadful, there’s a good chance its the voice of fear. Fear sits at the polar end of Love. You have my permission to give that voice the middle finger.

Sane

Solid Ground

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Looking for perfection in life or love, is futile, as far as I’m concerned. What matters to me isn’t whether things are perfect, what matters is that things are becoming whole and complete. Wholeness is when we have finally arrived at the place within ourselves when our pendulum doesn’t swing so much. This can only happen with balance. And balance requires a level foundation.

I remember when I looked at the foundation of who I was. I saw holes. I grew up within a family dynamic that left gaping holes and obstacles over which I had to continually leap. I have many good memories of my youth. Yet, even during the good times, there was a knowing that was ever-present within me. I knew that, at any moment, those good times would end. The floor would open or a curve ball would come our way. Long after becoming an adult, I continued to build a similar road, as it was the only road I’d ever known. Instead of my father laying the bricks, each was put into place by me. It took a long time for me to see and understand this. Even more time was required before I found the courage and wherewithal to take ownership of my own journey.

Numerous catalysts have been brought my way. I know now that each was brought by the hand of God, with hopes of causing me to work on those things within me that needed attention. I had to step back and lift pieces of concrete that I’d stood upon for decades. Even though cracked and slanted, they were familiar. I was skilled at standing askew. We adjust to our own dysfunction over time. We learn to squint through a shaded lens and we choreograph our world so that it dances around our pain. It takes courage to rebuild. But I can assure you this, you will never regret having done so. Nothing is worse than being held prisoner within yourself when you are not whole. Sleeping next to your pain center, is a tragic thing.

I’ve come a long way since lifting that first broken part of myself. It gets easier as one moves along. And the only person I’m aiming to please is me. I own every flaw and quirk, every stroke of brilliance and every wry joke that sits at the end of an otherwise profound statement. I decided I liked these things about myself. So instead of pitching them, I chose to keep them. Starting anew does not mean one must replace everything. It means that you take the time to fix what’s broken, heal and let go of what no longer serves, and bring to light those parts of yourself that delight you. I display my soft, philosophical side right alongside that of my mischievous humor. Even some of my most broken pieces of foundation from my youth have been kept by me. I healed them. Then returned them to their place. What was once part of a pain center is now part of what heals. It was up to me how I wanted to rebuild. I decided to find beauty in some of my most vulnerable areas; areas that may seem like flaws to some. When someone looks into my eyes or reads my words, these truths are what shine through. I won’t ever get it done. And that is fine with me. I like that every time I turn around I see this motley mix of a construction that offers the best of me.

Dear reader, think about your foundation. Think about all that rests inside of you, and how it represents you. Think about what it is you stand upon each and every day. It is your house, your foundation and your walls, after all. As for me, my home has a few cozy nooks in which I like to curl. But for the most part, it has large open windows that allow for an unencumbered view. And I like it that way.

Do not get defeated if the process takes time. Because, it will. You aren’t pitching a tent. You are building a fortress, and that fortress is as much a gift to yourself as it is a gift to others. Go for structural integrity.

Sane