Tag Archives: wine

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.

Black Beauty

A young girl I know is in the midst of a moment she will remember for the rest of her life; her first heartbreak. It’s a point in time that quite easily can become one of the pillars on which all other relationships rest. It is the first point in which we question our beauty and our worth.

When young, we place these decisions upon others to make. It isn’t until older that we realize the one to decide our beauty and our worth – is us. Of course, there are those who live their final day still allowing others to craft the definition that should be theirs to make. Nothing feels worse than feeling as if one is not good enough. It cuts into the core of our being. It bucks against our heart and causes a pain like no other.

There is a reason why it hurts the way it does; the conclusion we’re making about ourself, brought on by someone else’s actions, lies in harsh contrast to what our soul knows. That is why when made to feel like anything less than who we are, the pain is great; the eyes water; the heart twists.  It is one of the deepest lies we accept as true.

Please know that something quite similar is why being in love feels so sublime. Our inner being sees our beauty, our value and wants only for our critical mind to see the same. When in love, we more easily allow such a belief, and we lighten up on ourselves. Their love for us overrules the judgmental beliefs we have about ourself. As long as they love us, we believe ourselves to be lovable. That is a verdict and a power that should never be handed over to another.

People come and go. But we remain. So honor yourself by being the one to define your worth. Look inward and see your beauty. And when you spot something you feel unattractive, remember that it is you who is making that decision. Decide something different. See the beauty in those things you define as flaws. Those things we label as flaws are often what set us apart. The most valuable things in life are those that have singular irregularities. The human frame and psyche are no different. It took forty years for me to see my deeply introspective side as possessing any beauty. I saw it as only a dark shadow that followed me wherever I went. I became close friends with my darker side but never wanted it exposed as I felt no one would find joy in such deep observations. My soul had different plans however, and one day all that was within me erupted onto the page. That was the day I became a career writer. That was the day I began to live my life fully exposed. And that was the day I learned to love the person that I am.

It is up to us to decide the definition of beauty. We do not all agree upon it in the external world and yet feel no shame in holding to our opinions when it comes to those things toward which we point outward. Do the same when pointing inward. Hold true to your belief in your beauty. Those things that haunt you will only do so if continued to be smothered. Bring your darkness into the light. And if you look in the mirror and wish you looked like another, take a second look. See the color that rests in your eyes. Those colors are like gems buffed and crushed by the universe and placed in your eyes; through which you get to view the world. See the person that has faithfully accompanied you as you’ve walked the many miles of your life. This person loves you. Look back upon them and do the same. Then you will have defined your beauty.

Sane

Standing In The Shadows

Depending upon the sun’s rays, even the grandest of trees possesses a dark, blurred silhouette. The shadow that marks the ground behind it always fails to capture the true beauty of the object that created it. Yet it is within this shadow of ourselves, where so many of us live. We stand within the shadow, never stepping into the grandeur that is – our true self.

Some people never contemplate the many dimensions inherent to being alive in this human form. They merely carry out their days, taking it no further than that. But then there are those who live within this overcast world knowing they are not living their full potential. They see it. They feel it. But they haven’t the courage to believe they are the very thing that casts the shadow. Instead they live amidst a murky, disillusioned version of themselves.

Every time the voice within whispers, “I want to do that.” Take note. It is your grandest self wanting to emerge. Every time you feel an inclination to act out in love and benevolence, please know it is your soul wanting to feel itself in action. And every time you imagine a version of yourself that isn’t quite what you recognize at the moment, please know it is your spirit laying down the groundwork for the you, that is waiting to be expressed.

In this respect, we are the tree. The true version of ourselves is strong, steady and beautiful. We just have to stop living in the shadow of all that we are meant to be. Brutal are the winds of life, at times. But I would much rather be seated deeply within the core of myself when life gets rough. Standing in the ever shifting shadow, offers no peace, no comfort and no safety. One of my fondest memories was when a spiritual speaker shared with me a vision she had upon looking at me. She said I was a willow tree. My branches flowing gracefully, and a bit wildly in the wind. But my trunk, the core of who I am, was solid and unmoving. This vision, has helped me when the winds of life were at their strongest.

As far as I’m concerned there is something magical about trees; the way they look on like silent observers; the way they remind us to stay grounded. Never do they shirk from their grandeur. And neither should we.

Somewhere along the line we began to believe we are the shadow and not the tree. This distorted, lesser version of ourselves has never been our true self. And it never will be. In fact, I have to believe those who feel the most discord and darkness are often those who’s true self casts the largest shadow. We don’t control the shadow anymore than we control the tree. But we do control where we choose to stand within these parts of ourself.

Innately, we know when we are not in harmony with all that we are meant to be. We feel the conflict. Instead of seeing that inner contention as a sign of failure, as a soul that is broken, see it merely as a sign of the greatness that is you. Surely it must be, to cast such a large shadow and to cause such conflict. Now step into it. Live it. Be it. It is where your strength is.

Sane

Dedicated to a very special friend.

Medicine

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I rarely disagree with science, unless of course, I don’t like what I hear. But in this case I fully agree. Laughter is like medicine for the human body and mind.

Actually, I was fibbing about disagreeing with science. I rarely agree nor disagree, I merely take it all in, without the slam of any judgmental gavel. But I digress – the human body rarely has a feature that isn’t necessary. Our ability to laugh is no different. In fact, I feel, it is one of the body’s built in healing systems.

Just as white blood cells rush to the scene to heal a cut, laughter lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, increases muscle flexion, and boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and B-cells, which produce disease-destroying antibodies. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, and produces a general sense of well-being. You’re impressed with that last bit aren’t you? You should be – it took a bit to research, then copy and paste. Not to mention, change the font so all things appeared cohesive. As a side note: I wasn’t even sure if Gamma-interferon was a real word – it is.*

Joking aside, when we laugh, our body benefits. It’s not merely a goofy sounding body eruption. Regardless of the body’s natural inclination to seek out humor, many people work ardently to refrain from choosing happiness. As I age, I have come to realize that choosing happiness is as important as choosing the right foods, the quality of information we take into our minds and the company we keep. These things all benefit the person as a whole.

I rarely take myself too seriously. Those who know me best know the profound goofball I am. For me, things die a bit when kept tucked under a constant, dark and serious light. There are days though, when I wake and feel as though smiling is not an option. On those days I work fervently to find something to release me from the weight of gloom and depression. I feel no shame in admitting that I have, many times, resorted to spending hours in front of the laptop viewing funny images and jokes. Once my face has cracked through its frown, I take a deep breath and know that I am now, ready to take on my day. I’ve lived through depression. And unless one has experienced it first hand, they really do not understand its powerful tentacles, nor do they understand the way it can camouflage its voice to sound much like that of your own.

But the body wasn’t created to live with depression. The world has left us all a little battered, and far from the mentally and physically strong humans we were intended to be. Yet, the body knows the direction in which to go to find health. Like a multi-vitamin, laughter is a necessary nutrient. To that same end, when something loses all joy, I begin to view it as toxic.

Please forgive me, that this post was not written in my normal lyrical tone. I don’t feel lyrical. I feel like doing what I am doing, speaking frankly and drinking wine while rocking methodically on my deck. Yes its hot out, and yes I’m sweating like a beast; but I needed fresh air. So on that discombobulated final note, I will leave you with this:

 

Sane

 

*Credit where credit is due: Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California.

It’s All A Matter Of Taste

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It’s important to know what one wants in life. This extends far beyond what may be wanted from another, but also what is wanted from oneself. I have settled into a time in my life wherein I know both.

Here in my blog and also in my novel, I compare love and desire to that of food; the way the right taste can touch the tongue and send the body into a flurry of satisfaction and joy. How the taste of something delicious can linger within the mind long after the last drop of flavor has vanished. The way the thought of it will appear within the mind afterward and with a sense of longing.

When it comes to men, I don’t like Twinkie’s, Moon Pies or cotton candy. I’ve sampled a few and inadvertently married one. Life’s a buffet, they say. If so, it’s important as we move through life to develop our tastes. And if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that I need substance. I realize these fluffy treats have their place, except that place isn’t with me. I like a meal. I want a man who can offer an appetizer of enticing conversation, an entrée of a well-developed mind and the kind of dessert found only within a passionate, deep soul.

I shy away from a man who works ardently to craft six-pack abs. Instead, I like a man who works to develop his mind, his heart and his integrity. Within the first few conversations with a man, I know how I feel. The questions that are asked, their attention to the details, and the way they observe the world, these are the things that matter to me.

Oddly enough, the way I view a man’s internal being; his mind, his heart and his perception of the world, shape what I see externally. What is on the inside, colors what is on the outside. So when everyone else is ogling the chiseled and bronzed stud slowly emerging from the water; I’m noticing the man in the background, the one that doesn’t seek the attention – the man with the chiseled mind.

Sane

PS ~ Sorry for my absence, I’ve been tired as of late. Thank you for your notes and emails.

Blackbird Singing In The Dead Of Night

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I can’t say it’s ever a good thing to marry young. Along that same line, I can’t say  it’s ever a good thing to drink wine before it too has had time to grow and age. Like wine, we need time to come into our own; time for our true selves to develop  form and flavor.

As I sit here, with four decades behind me – I know who I am. I am not so old that sediment has started to form. And yet, I have enough age that my true personality stands on its own. The trick now, is finding a partner that will savor what I have to offer.

As wines go, the particular bottle that is me, won’t be one that’s appreciated by all. Behind my darkened green glass hides a multitude of flavors. But like grapes that have had a tumultuous growing season, I am the embodiment of all that life has cultivated and harvested from me. I might even possess a biting edge at times – but that’s only due to some particularly cold nights. But if considered with appreciation, what at first seemed like an edge is soon enjoyed as the clear, unique nuance that separates me from the rest. However, for the most part, my flavor is full, with a very mellow finish.

There is something divine about turning 40. I never imagined living this long – yet here I am. I never imagined living my life alone – yet alone, I am. For the most part, I’m alone by choice. I rarely tip my bottle and pour out the contents. I only do so, if I feel certain the one who is about to receive me, will savor all the different flavors; all the different inflections that mark my singular personality. Finding the right partner is much like pairing a deep red with the perfect entrée – I want flavors that will set off and compliment that of my own. In other words, the entrée needs to be as full-bodied as the wine; each bringing out the best in one another.

This is a fun metaphor and yet perfectly suited to mirror the task that is: matching this quirky, philosophically lighthearted writer with a suitable mate. At times I am quite certain this bottle will finish its days old and dusty, unopened and thus unappreciated, hidden within a darkened wine cellar. Then there are days when I think, startlingly – maybe not. Maybe somewhere out there, is the perfect delectable meal longing for the perfect companion that will help soften all that it alone, cannot. One can only hope.

If not: cheers. Better to enjoy life alone, than not at all. But – how sweet it is, when paired well. I’ve tasted that nice blending of flavors, and all I can say is – it was divine. I hope to taste it again.

Sane