Category Archives: happiness

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

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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

Its Beauty is Your beauty

Hello Dear Reader

It feels like a lifetime since I’ve last whispered in your ear, dear reader. It’s an odd thing, being a writer. One would think I’d just sit down, on a whim, and write. That’s not the case. At least, it’s not for me. Instead, things have to be just right. If I have my way, the moon must be visible and shining down on me. The music must be flowing through me in such a way that we become one. And, lastly, I have to be seated behind my trusty MacBook Air. Change one thing, and anxiety washes over me and I begin to question if I know how to put anything of substance onto the page. Oh the mind, it can be our greatest ally. And so often, it can be our greatest foe.

You see, dear reader, this MacBook Air of mine that has aided me in writing numerous posts, novels and children’s stories is growing tired. I have to wait as it catches up with a mind that screams along at unsettling speeds. And as for the moon, its been awhile since I’ve had it shining down on me. One day I will have a desk that sits under the glow of its nurturing light again. But the music, it never fails me. And thank God for that. Truly.

Too much time has passed since I’ve written. A lot of life has unfurled beneath me. Too much to write about, but just know this: I am still sailing forward. I am at the helm, looking out at the horizon with wonder and delight. The waves, well, they do what they do. More often than not though, there is calm. And when I do look back and notice the the rough seas, I do so with gratitude knowing that, once again, something kept me upright. My time of having to plunge deep grows less and less.

So, if you are in the midst of underwater discoveries yourself, take heart, one day you will buoy up and with it, not only will you enjoy breathing, but you will breathe knowing who you are. There is mastery in that. Sometimes I wonder if that is why we are here; to discover who we are – and then love ourselves once we know. Love, that’s what it’s all about. But first it starts within. If you can’t love you – loving another is counterfeit. Love moves outward. The Universe rests within you. You are made of the stars. Why would Source do it any other way?

Recently, I went on a trip with my brother. We spread my father’s ashes along a small creek nestled into the side of a mountain. I watched as his physical form was embraced by the water and returned from which it came. And it felt right. Life alteringly difficult, but very, very right. I flew above my brother and I, and watched our star-dust beings return my father into its physical home. Pure. Divine. Transcendent. I hope I have as beautiful an end. In the months since I’ve been thinking a lot about the gap between the soul and the physical. There is a huge gap and yet no gap. The soul is one with everything. All the while being completely separate. I love the awe-inspiring gap. I love having one foot in this world and one foot someplace else. My awareness of this is often overwhelming. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. Its just who I am.

I love that ‘someplace else.’ It’s home to me. It is the place best described as being closer to the stars. It is the place where energy runs free. Its exhilarating. Its passionate. Its unbridled. And it is like air to me. It’s in music. Its in laughter. Its in the way our heart fills unexpectedly with emotion. And I know its seen in my eyes.

We are all so much more than we believe ourselves to be. The essence of who we are is there for the taking. If we allow ourselves to tap into it, then become it. And it is love. Love is Source and Love is all there is. It’s from where we came. And it is where we will return. So smile. Dance. Let the music flow through you. Look up and give the stars a nod. Its beauty is your beauty. Love.

Sane

 

Soundtrack:

Mondo Cozmo – Shine

MISSIO – Middle Fingers

Van Morrison – Into The Mystic

The Strumbellas – We Don’t Know

Into the Distance

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It’s now the first day of the new year. Its been a rough day. It happens. I’ll recover. But its put me in the most peculiar of moods. So here I sit, doing the only thing I know to do, write. While seated in church, in other words, with music filling the air around me while I sit under the waxing crescent moon. This is how I heal.

I’ve always been one to seek solace by sitting and staring off into the distance. When young I would sit in the dark at the dining room table; the large FM radio playing softly while I stared at the lights in the distance from passing cars. Today, as if moved by an unseen force I found myself sitting at the water’s edge looking out. In that moment all I wanted was for night to fall so I could do what I am now doing. But instead of peeling oranges as I did as a young girl, I now sip wine and let my fingers busy themselves. While they do the words that come forth often teach me more than anyone else. This is the way Spirit moves through me. Healers come in all shapes and sizes, dear reader. Often my own fingers are used to heal me.

I found myself missing my mother terribly, today. I missed her support. I missed her presence. I missed the life I wish we had together. I wanted so much for her company. She really wasn’t that kind. And that’s okay. But I still wished for it just the same. She and I were so very different. I try to be the mother I had and the mother I wished for. I loved her dearly. It is still hard to believe she is gone.

I have absolutely no idea what is ahead of us. What I do know is that your emotions will always be there to guide you. Emotions speak. Although truthfully, many don’t understand their language. We misread them constantly. Listen to your core, dear reader. Pay attention to the subtle signals it sends. Your soul knows who you are. Every fiber in your body does too. Yet, so often we believe the voice of self-doubt, ridicule and fear. When we do we feel the pain well from deep within. That pain is because those thoughts aren’t stemming from your true self. Your emotions are trying to tell you that this is not your truth.

You are here for a reason. This I know. For each of us it is different. Each journey though, is meant to be joyful. Go in that direction. Your emotions will try to help you. Detach the best you can. Just because something brings you joy, doesn’t mean you are to capture it. Perhaps it was meant solely for a fleeting moment for you to know the feeling. This is hard, I know. Allow life to be, without your judgement of it. Feel and let go. Feel and let go. Spread your arms and inhale the glory of the world around you. For within it is all the things that delight you. Your emotions will help you filter those out.

Also too, it will help you to know the things that dishonor you. Those things are in conflict with who you are. And they hurt like hell. Don’t damn them. Detach, and step back. But remember. When someone dishonors you – you know. Emotions are powerful. But it’s what rests behind the emotion that empowers you – always. Discover it.

Our journey is one with constant blind corners. And at times it gets downright scary. At times we feel so alone its smothering. You aren’t, though. Look up. See the moon. See the sun. See the clouds. They stand like guardians; reminding you that you are part of something much bigger. The trees stand amongst us while we walk through our days; showing us that we always have a place upon which to lean. And the music, it is energy captured and put to rhythm. It’s what is inside of you. It is what’s trying to flow through you – always. Feel it. Breathe it in. Breath is much more than merely a mandatory condition of the body. Its how we move Life through us. Take this with you, dear reader.

And always, know that you are loved. Now I shall return to enjoying the last drop of my Cabernet while looking up at Venus and this beautiful waxing crescent moon. And remembering my mother, knowing that she is helping me around all the blind corners.

Sane

Hitting the Road

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As we close out this current year, I’d like to propose something. You won’t like it. But I believe its one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. And in the doing of it, we align closer to All That Is. Bless those things that have been difficult. I know. I said you wouldn’t like it, dear reader. But hear me out.

It’s easy to bless those things that bring us joy. Yes, those things are there for a purpose. We learn a lot about ourselves from them. But much more is gained when we carefully look at our difficulties. Because it is that which challenges us, that often highlights what is hindering us from experiencing the very joy for which we seek. Those fears that bubble up from within us, show us what is impeding us. They reveal the obstacles that stand in our way. In the moment we loathe the obstacle. And of course we do. It sits like a monster or boulder – blocking us. Holding us back.

But what if, its appearance isn’t to stop us. Instead, its appearance is Source working to show you what’s slowing you down so that you can deal with it and then move on?

Why is it so often upon casting a dream into the Heavens its quickly followed by something that causes us to doubt its probability? Ego will quickly answer that by saying it’s because it’s reminding us that the dream will most surely never happen. It’s sparing us from getting our hopes up. But rarely is that little voice of negativity our ally. Almost always that voice is the sound piece of our fears.

What I’d like you to do with this new year is to listen less to that voice, and instead, shift your perception of the obstacles or fears or doubts that arise before you. Don’t act surprised when an unexpected bill comes in the mail shortly after you launch a desire to start that new business or to buy that land in the country where you can retire. That bill will quickly tell you the level of your faith. That bill will cause all your fears to rise to the surface. Source wants you to see those. Source wants you to know what is buried deep within you. Because what is within you, is what’s shaping your experience. And when we fail to go deep, Source brings what’s deep into the Light. Bless what you see because its being brought into the Light for a reason. And it isn’t to stop you, it’s so that you know what you’re dealing with; to see what’s been holding you back.

Look at it like this. Let’s say you desire to drive across country. You program your car for the trip. And although I don’t believe such a thing as this exists, let’s say then that the car’s internal programming reviews your trip and then displays if the car is able to make it. Instead of damming your car for not being able to hit the road at the drop of a hat, you review the read out and feel relief that it showed you that about a third of the way in the transmission will fail. It’s telling you what you need to deal with because, as is, the trip will be difficult. Or the read out shows that there’s a collapsed bridge on the road you were planning to use. Good to know. You begin to plan a different way. What if Source is showing you something similar?

Every time you launch a desire, Source works to match that desire. But that is only half the process. You have to be the match. And to be the match you have to deal with all the things within you that are not the match. Those are the things that get brought to the surface. Those are the fears that seem to drop in front of you out of the blue, and strangle your ability to breathe. Those are the doubts you have about your greatness and worth. How is Source going to bring you your life’s love if you don’t fully love yourself? Source is showing you that. How is Source going to bring the life you want if you don’t fully believe that you are worthy of receiving it? So bless those things that are being shown to you. Because they are part of the process of getting there.

I love you, dear reader. And it is my sincere prayer that with this next year we all get there.

Sane

You Are Love

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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.

Sane

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

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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