Friday, November 15, 2013


I've been gifted another opportunity to support and encourage a friend. Being invited into these moments, a most intense, intimate, and special experience, I am deeply moved and humbled. 

With most inspiring experiences in my life, I write:

I am waiting for you.

I am preparing for you.

Along with your mama,

I am awaiting you.

I'm moving my body in a slow sway.

I walk, and flow in a rhythm.

Gently inviting my instinct to guide me,

And respectfully asking my mind to quiet.

I am waiting for you.

Whispers of conversations between your mama and me,

Some not even audible.

A quiet connection.

A primal energy.

I am waiting for you.

Slowing my thoughts.

Nourishing my body and soul.

Listening carefully to my needs,

So when called,

I can meet the needs of three others, with love and gratitude.

I am waiting for you.

I can feel the shift.

The energy is changing - 

From nerves to trust.

My heart is open.

My mind is quiet. 

I am waiting for you.

I am waiting to walk with your mama. 

I am waiting to nurture your mama.

I am waiting to hold your mama.

I am waiting to encourage your mama.

I am waiting for you.

And I am waiting to protect your space,

Your time,

Your energy,

Your rhythm,

Your trust,

As you make your way


My energy tools, aka - baby mojo.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Breath Deep and Be Not Afraid

I can always lean into those HUGE questions - life questions, purpose questions, spirit questions - when I am surrounded by Nature.

Almost as if Mother Nature is holding me while my heart and mind break open, seeking some clarity, reassurance, beauty, and peace.
I really don't have the vocabulary needed to accurately describe the sense of freedom, and calm, and confidence, that I gathered yesterday. 

And, in truth, I didn't even know I was needing such calm and confidence.

But walking along the gravel paths that meander through our State's Arboretum, the flood of peace and contentment rushed forward. 

I did alot of deep breathing.

I went quiet.

And I, without apology, took pictures.

The best I can do is share the experience through these...

This wheat grass made me pause - its golden hue up again the blue sky.

When I turned to see this tree, all I could hear was this:

'How can you be afraid, when you are surrounded by this. This beauty. This rhythm. This life.' 

I'm still debating if this was the voice of my mind, or my soul.

And in these moments, he granted me a sweet little kiss - documented. Our rough edges being weathered by our years together.


Friday, November 1, 2013

You Have Permission

To the family sharing space with us, the other day at the dentist, my heart broke for all of you. 

As you held down your children, as they screamed and fought to sit up, my heart broke for you.

As you spoke angrily at them, as if they were the trouble, while smiling and commiserating with the hygenist, my heart broke for you.

You were outwardly angry & impatient, yet your energy was sad & embarrased. My heart broke for you.

I've been there. I've been in a situation - watching, doing, responding - when nothing felt right. It feels wrong. All wrong. On many levels. 

So, as I watched your struggle, and the struggle of your children, my heart broke...for you, and for me. For in my judgment of you, I felt the judgment against myself. I've been in your shoes...responding as a parent, but responding in a way that is totally wrong for my child(ren.) 

And then one day, I can't recall when, I heard a voice in my head saying 'You have permission.'

You have permission to say no.

You have permission to take a break.


You have permission to question.


You have permission to walk away.

You have permission to stop, take a breath, take a walk, STOP - if it will help your child feel safe, comfortable, and respected.

To the parents that shared space with me, the other day at the dental office, I whisper encouraging PERMISSION to respect your children, and their fears, and their boundaries, and their light. 

It's ok. Really. If you are doing something, and internally you want to puke because it feels so awful and wrong, than stop. Please. Just stop. And hold your children until you both feel better. 

Here's an excerpt from a letter I wrote six months ago to this same dentist, regarding one of their techs. Just an example of how you can speak up and OUT for your children...and the next child.
  I was in most recently on Monday of this week with my youngest children, O and D. O needed alot of encouragement as he was very shy and anxious. I do not remember the name of the hygienist that was assigned to him that day, though she was familiar and I think we've had her before. She was quite nice to him, and always spoke in that happy, sing-song voice that you seem to think puts children at ease. However, as he continued to struggle with the appointment (a simple cleaning, but he is only four, and this was only his second time there,) the tech began to use language that felt demeaning. Statements like – ‘Oh. You don’t want to be a baby. You don’t want to cry. You’re a big boy right? Only babies suck their fingers. Only babies cry when they get their teeth cleaned.’ – and when talking to his sister, since she was already finished with her appointment, quote – ‘I heard you were really good at your appointment. See, O, you want to be just like your sister don’t you, you aren’t a baby, are you? I always knew girls were smarter…’ (D is a girl, and O’s twin sister.)
 Although I can understand what the tech was trying to accomplish, I regret allowing it to continue as long as I did. Quite honestly, I regret not immediately STOPPING the cleaning and respecting O’s wishes for some space. I think I was in a state of shock. I did soon stop the cleaning, and acknowledged his worry, and his valiant attempt at getting through the procedure. I found the tech’s use of language demeaning, and unacceptable, and sad, for O. In my family, we celebrate babies, and we’ve taught our children that a crying child is nothing to resent, but someone in need of help, love, and encouragement. I felt the tech was trying to ‘guilt’ or embarrass O into a less-stressful emotional state….less stressful for her, perhaps, but at the cost of my son’s natural inclination to communicate his emotions of fear and anger. He was fearful to begin the appointment, and became angry as he was being made fun-of by the person trying to persuade him. Fear is the birthplace of anger. He is such a smart boy…I’m confident that, as an adult, this tech wouldn’t stand for a person invading her personal space, all the while being ridiculed.
 I hope these criticisms are taken with gratitude, and as an opportunity for some positive-language/language-sensitivity education, and perhaps re-evaluation of how children are sometimes treated in the office. As stated in the beginning, I have had very good care in the past. And my other anxious child had a very patient tech when we were in two weeks ago. And O was seen by Dr. R and she was most patient with him…even when he bit the mirror and cracked the plastic.
I plan to write another letter, encouraging more training for staff on how to encourage parents to stop, and take a breath, and respond to their children with empathy and patience. It would have been beautiful to hear the tech say, 'This young guy needs a break. I'm not comfortable with this cleaning, if it requires force to hold him down.' 

Sometimes we just need to hear it.
'It's ok. You have permission.'

You. Have. Permission.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simply Ask

do you ever say this?
a simple word...

i had the chance to ask for help today.
and not help with the dishes,
or help with the toys,
dog poop,
no. none of these.
i asked for help - help from a friend,
to do something i just couldn't do.

and i was apprehensive to ask.
i almost felt ashamed to ask.
that shame - she's a bitch.

just ask.
no. everyone is busy.
i'll be taking advantage.
who am i to ask for this help? sheesh.

just ask
no. i am smart. i can figure this out on my own.
wait. i can't. i'm such an idiot. so stupid.

just ask
no. what will it say about me?
i'm lazy. stupid. needy. incapable.

just ask
no. what if no one offers to help.
i don't really need help. it's not really important.
if i was worthy of this, i could do it myself.

just ask

so i asked.
and i received.
i am so thankful for the time my friend offered me. 
in thirty minutes time she did something for me that would have taken me hours to do 
for myself.
instead of struggling for hours,
losing patience,
removing myself from what i NEEDED to be doing,
and creating a stressful environment for everyone involved (ie - kids & husband.)
i. asked. for. help.

why is asking for help so difficult?
why is it easy for some,
and miserably hard for others.
is it a sign of strength,
or a scar of weakness?
is it engrained from our parents,
and reinforced by societal cues?
i don't have the answers.
but LIFE has given me excessive opportunities to practice
surprise pregnancy with twins - help.
four children under the age of 5 - help.
kid with anxiety - help.
homeschooling - help.
making friends soul sisters - help.
figuring out my shit so i don't hand it over to my kids - help.
defining my bliss, and reaching for it - help.
figuring out bloggy-computer mumbo-jumbo language - help.
asking for help -
whether it's rescheduling carpool, or
grabbing eggs at the grocery store, or
holding my hand during a stressful medical appointment, or
talking me off an emotional cliff.
asking for help = trusting vulnerability.
vulnerability = courageous {to some} / weakness  {to others}
for me - asking for help, acting and asking from a place of vulnerability,
is a sign of strength. period. hands down. 
you can't convince me otherwise.
yet, i still felt shameful today.
asking for help.
can you imagine a world in which ASKING for help was as valued as
imagine it, just for a minute...
the 'need' is met with neutrality.
the act of asking is celebrated.
Asking for what you need is hailed as:

the act of asking is as joyful as giving.
imagine that world.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Don't Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle

 November 1 is like four days away. say what? november? 
chances of snow...
migrating groups of people moving to & fro, 
over mountains - through woods...
fowl, and expensive cheese...
marshmallows on casseroles, passing as a vegetable side-dish...
however you celebrate, 
the holiday season is patiently waiting for the mass-confusion of halloween to end,
so that it may show up, 
clean house,
start a warm fire,
and settle in for the foreseeable future.  
i don't get real caught-up in the holiday drama. i can't. it would make my head explode.
i haven't seen the inside of a mall at holiday-time since i was pregnant with my first.
shopping isn't my thing. 
amazon is my thing. and the local specialty shop down the street.
but we don't stand in line for Santa.
we DO bake for our neighbors, 
and one afternoon in early December we pile everything into a basket 
and go house to house.
we don't travel any further than our family room on Christmas morning.
we've been known to take a spin through the neighborhood to see the holiday lights -
hot cocoa, blankets, carols on the radio, and 
the obligatory lecture about consumerism and electricity waste.
i love this time of year. 
it's magical.
with the twinkling lights.
the damp, cold nights. 
small trees in the kids' rooms.
i'm excited. 
 this year, our holiday season will start with a little 'behind the scenes' gift for me. 
starting next week, i'll be participating in the highly anticipated holiday e-lab, hosted by Amy over at mamascout.

 i've participated in a handful of Amy's courses, including A Book About Me. 
the A Book About Me course, in particular, was a turning point for me. 
picture this -
 a group of saged women,
deeply supportive, 
and connected.
all showing up to bear witness to one another, 
and our respective processes.
i've made friendships through this course that have taken me into places of my soul i never really knew were there. it's a good thing. a really good thing.  

the holiday e-lab promises to be another journey of connection. 
of opening up. bearing witness.
 reflecting on what is working, what isn't, and how we can EACH manifest the 
spirit, and
we desire for this particularly 'charged' time of year.

here's how Amy describes it...

What is this?  Daily emails and creative challenges, Facebook camaraderie, and support from me will help you set intentions for what you hope to create this holiday season. We will cover ways to prepare for the holidays, ideas for clearing space (mental and physical), simplifying gift giving, dealing with family struggles, honoring nature through solstice celebrations, ways to give back to your community and more.  The key is to think, write and communicate with others NOW so you can have the calm, restorative, creative season YOU want.

 to say i'd pretty much follow Amy into any course, any process, 
any experience she puts forth, 
is an understatement. 
i recently took her dream course. i went into that experience pretty aloof;
i just wanted to be among the caliber of women Amy draws with these courses. 
in true form, i walked away from that course a changed person, 
now better able to articulate and envision my dreams.
and to see a truth --  many of my dreams are manifesting and 
showing themselves in my life, as i write this.

 i hold close to heart the support and clarity Amy offers during her courses. 
i am a better mother, a better wife, and a better Self, 
simply by doing these interesting and thought-provoking courses.
and this holiday lab just looks fun!

Amy is only hosting her holiday e-lab once this year. and it starts on November 4.
i'll see you there.
and if you haven't ever visited the mamascout blog,
may i suggest you do so.
mama power!!
a good mama bringing out the good
in other mamas!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Good Life 10.27.2013

the good life is about being grateful
  being present in the little things
remembering to breathe
resting in the seat of joy

it's Fall!
leaves are turning. mornings are CRISP COLD!
we're nearing the turn from hours upon hours outside, 
to hours - upon hours - inside.
it's an adjustment for all of us, and one that i only just realized.
Fall - the season of transition.
the season before the dormant.
the season to reflect on the bounty,
and prepare for the barren.
i love this season. 
through the death of life, 
comes the beauty in life. 
mother nature is so damn smart.

these four
these are the people that fill my day,
my hours, 
my minutes...
my moments.
these four are the reason there is little time for writing.
no time for writing, 
but abundant time for 
through them, i will live the life of my dreams...
dreams that have little to do with money,
or profession,
or location, 
or recognition.

 this is me, dreaming
yeh, what if?
what if it all turns to shit?
what if all my fears come true?
what if the world is that dark, scary, irrational 
pit of doom most of media wants me to believe?
what if?
or..... or..... or..... or.....
what if it turns out beautifully?
what if my fears can be given some space - 
a breath,
a thank you,
a 'don't worry - i've got this...'
what if i just don't listen to the 'pit of doom' coverage?
am i naive?
am i irresponsible?
is my head in the sand?
i'll just be here...
giving some space to my worries,
and witnessing them 
as they blur
into simple flashes of color and thoughts,
 as i dream of a life...
a life i am living.

this is how we do it
forget the lists.
forget the formality.
forget the measurements.
remember the fun.
remember the creativity.
remember the learning.
the learning
that happens
when you 
just live. 

thank you, mother nature
found on an old tree
lining the road to the farm.
a rolling road
that always gets the kids giggling when their bellies
head into their throats. 
most days i drive a little fast
on this back country road.
until now.
until we saw this.
this lichen.
it's magnificent.
as big as dinner plate, if not bigger.
amazing how it can be so strong,
yet so far out from the tree.
this lichen,
just reaching.
growing outward.
this is how i feel some days.
just reaching.
growing outward.
a solid connection to a grounded life,
but reaching just beyond...
 i love this lichen.

the small, in the big
someone recently reframed my thinking.
when things feel HUGE, find respite in the small.
when you are weighed down by the small,
find respite in the big.
the yin & yang of life.
i love seeing this in my day.
he may not be reading,
but he just offered his sister his love, and his hand.
she may still panic,
but she just told me exactly what i can do to ease her worries.
life goes fast.
life plays fierce - all for keeps!
some days you have to focus on that one small spot,
to regain your balance.
other days,
you simply have to throw yourself off that edge,
blissfully filled with the unknown.
these small, warm lights 
offering a gentle start...
to another big day.
the small, in my big.


it's a good life, in these moments.
in trying to understand myself,
while understanding my kids.
in trying to create a life for my family,
while making sure there is play-dough and paint.
in trying to breath,
while having my breath taken away.
such a lucky life.
it's a good life.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Good Life 7.3.2013

the good life is about being grateful
  being present in the little things
remembering to breathe
seeing joy

it's firework season. explosions and fire usually drive me inside, 
along with the dog.
to temper the anxiety-ridden explosions, i'm listening to soul-fueling music.
and writing. and dreaming. and believing that i have it good. 
really, really good.

 'with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair'
we just returned from a week at the beach. 
a week of sun. 
a week of us.
a week of raw foods for dinner.
a week of peeling skin,
and dreams thought up on the beach.
six days of holes.
six days of running across hot sand, 
while precariously holding beach chairs, an umbrella, towels, shovels, 
and the child too tired to make it home, across that hot sand.
a week of using our stomachs, and the sun, as indication of hunger, and time.
a week together. 
a week apart.
a week of exploration.
a week to watch these children fall in love,
as i did so many years ago, 
and again during this week away.
away, yet deeply connected. 
connected to the smallness of life.
the largeness of nature.
the pattern of the waves.
the pull of the moon.
the beating of their graceful hearts.
 and the flowers in their hair.


 'lend me your eyes I can change what you see'
it's a valuable thing.
perspective and trust,
now THAT'S a powerful partnership.
belief that i can have a life of joy, 
and time, and peace, and goodness.
a life seen not through rose-colored glasses,
but through a quiet mind,
a connected heart,
and a centered soul.
we can have it all,
even in the mess.
it's before us to hold.
we just have to see it.
and believe it.

'have no fear for giving in, have no fear for giving over'
 i can't help but go breathless at the sunrise.
i used to yearn for the sun to rise.
after a long night of nursing,
or teething,
or eczema,
or night-terrors,
or the standard host of needs in the night,
of my little people.
vacation allows for rest, 
even for the grown-ups.
i only woke for one sunrise during the vacation.
part of me was disappointed.
i crave a beach sunrise.
but in the end, 
i gave in to rest.
i gave over to indulgence.
this rise was offered on our last day. 
i was feeling well-rested by then,
and enjoyed indulging in its beauty,
its peace,its patience,
its slow, yet deliberate, pace.
the generosity
of the sunrise,
always returning,
morning to morning,
in its splendor. those who take the time to receive.

 'for it's only one life that we've got, and ain't it enough'
this is what i love about life.
the daily reminders that this is it.
the passing of hours,
the flipping of calendars,
the inches of our children, marking up the wall.
we do not get these days back.
it's today. this hour. this minute. this breath.
fill it will intention.
embrace it with abandon.
love it with fierce.
trust in it with wholeness.
and live it with spirit.
it's only one life that we've got.

it's a good life in all the middle moments...
between the sand in your underwear and those tender, sun-burned spots.
between the overnight hauls down the interstate, and
the stale coffee from the truck-stop.
the good life lives in those moments in-between -
'we're here! we made it to the beach!'
'oh my word, mommy. THAT is the most beautiful sight i've ever seen.'
it's a good life.