I am planting my third seed
Rooting my soul deep in this place
Aligning with the four corners
Reaching to the heavens and stars with hope
Lifting my gaze towards the sunrise
Basking in the quiet magic of the gloaming
As is my nature I seek …
The sweet sharpness of running water over rocks
The quiet eddies and raging rivers
To glide in lakes known and not
To dip a paddle in deep water
To dance in the wet sparkles and laughter of waterfalls
To feel ocean waves caress
To weave new memories with old
To smell the pine, sage and loam of this earth
To seek breathtaking vistas from mountain tops
To stand among the hum and jabber of bird song
The pregnant silence of the quiet
To dance on notes of the wind
To ride in the slipstream
To hear a hawk cry
To behold the majesty of an eagle watching sentry
To feel the wind break across and through me
To delve into and up mountain passes
To meander along roads near and far
Known and unknown
To dream, hope and create …
Stories of a life filled with love and laughter
Of time spent at tables filled with food and wine
With those I know and those not yet met
That my life song be filled with …
Laughter and love
This is my dream …
“The soul should always stand ajar.” Emily Dickinson
It’s the second week of January and I’m finding the space and time to reflect on 2016 and think about this New Year. I was blessed in 2016 and found ways to celebrate with tribe, family and alone during the holidays.
I took time and stepped back, slowed down and felt the pulse; heartbeat of the earth. I viewed its majesty with runs on trails in the forest and from the saddle. I looked up, out and upon majestic open roads, valleys and vistas and fell in love (again) with the magic of trees, quiet spaces and cold winter mornings with the never-end of the wind on my face. I experienced the caress of water gliding across skin, lap after lap and envisioned the ocean, rivers, lakes and the first open water swim of the year. I shared time, space, food and laughter with family. I engaged with my tribe of makers, writers, artists, creators and felt connection. I sat and drank coffee in solitude, journaled and walked the streets of the place I call home. I absorbed its energy, love and its call to come home. It was magical.
As I worked through the process of choosing a word for the year, something I’ve done the last several years, I spent time reflecting on my word for 2016. Trust. As many of you have read (thank you) it was a deep dive and amazing journey in embracing and practicing trust – with self, others and the Universe – this last year. Bloody brutal at times if I’m honest. It was the perfect launch pad for 2017.
In the process of exploring a word I came to realize that I don’t have a specific word for 2017. What I have is a calling of expression; a way of being that has welled up from my soul to explore this life. It’s a calling to take a deep dive, a leap of faith to engage with tribe, family even more and expand into my community and the world more fully. To keep trusting the Universe and myself as life unfolds. To make this a foundational practice for life.
It’s a practice that I believe will require a commitment beyond a physical year of time. It may take several years, possibly a lifetime, to explore and engage from this perspective. I hope that in this exploration I’m able to move towards a deeper-rooted sense of personal strength, wisdom, growth, compassion and empathy for self, others, community and this earth. That I begin to come from a state of being that is from peaceful strength, calm, joy, curiosity, love and grace in all that I do.
I’ve realized this last year that when I come from a place of authenticity and trust that I come from my deepest, truest self in any given moment. With these thoughts in mind my expression for 2017 is a daily practice to explore this life of doing, being and seeing.
“It’s when we embrace our dark and light that we learn to love ourselves. When we love our self, we can love others. Fully. Completely. ” Anonymous
I believe that to love (self and others) requires mindfulness, acts of self-compassion and a willingness to be vulnerable. That we come to loving others when we learn to love ourselves. That when we embrace the light and the dark of who we are we’re able to fully love.
It’s taken me time absorb this. To learn to love myself. Practice stillness, self-love and mindfulness. To learn that this path leads to an amazing life.
I’m learning to be in the moment. Celebrate the now. That in stillness is an abundance of action. Opening. Being. Love. That no matter what comes my way family, tribe, Universe and God have me. It’s not an easy lesson. It’s been brutally hard frankly. A theme (really) these last months. It’s not meant to be easy. I continue to do what I can, to not discount myself, to let go and fall up.
This journey has had me go inward to dark places. It’s in these dark places that cracks have opened up to grace and bathe me in light.
I’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean. I’ve re-learned to laugh. Seen the power and joy in the beauty of a sunrise / sunset from the saddle. Celebrated the music of a child’s laugh. Run in the redwoods. Swum side-by-side in the lakes of Oregon with my twin sister, watched a storm come across the open range with my brother. Beheld dolphins gliding through the ocean at dawn. Climbed to a peak in Yosemite to view the breathtaking wonder of this amazing gift we call Earth. Embraced the birdsong singing me awake and felt the moon glow gentle me into sleep
I am reminded daily this life is amazing, filled with grace and love.
In all this I’ve come to honor that my hardest journey the last year (s) has been coming to terms with the knowledge that two people I loved with my heart, soul are no longer present in my life. I’ve done the work and said my Goodbye (s). Both fill me with memories that have dark and light to them, but it’s the light that fills my soul, always. I have owned they are simply – of my heart. Both gifted me with lessons of love that brought me to love of self and the strength to love unconditionally. There is another such love left in me. It is enough.
I’ve worked through trauma, pain and fears that have built over the years. Come through to the other side. I have few too no regrets. I’ve given so many things in my life my all. Some of them didn’t work out. Others did. Amazingly so. This is the balance of light and dark. Of the Universe opening me up for new. Love. Life. Mindfulness. That it takes Courage to live a loving, mindful life.
There is a balance.
This life, tribe, family and friends have shown me who has shown up, consistently the last 20+ years and the last 18 months. Thank you.
It’s with gratitude that I wake up each day realizing that each small act, thought sent my way is one of mindfulness. Love Value. Being seen. Reminding me that I’m part of something more.
We can and do come through to the other side.
I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Thank you. Know that each of you is a reminder for me to show up to be a better, more rounded me. For you, for me. That when I show up for all, that it’s from love and my heart, always.
I’m blessed to be on this path to an amazing life, adventure with all of you.
“Keep your face to the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman
I’m at a pause in life. I was downsized a little while ago. Some of you know this. Many of you do not. Now you do. It’s hard to say that publicly. Which is why I’m saying it. Because it’s hard. Uncomfortable. There have been ups and downs (to put it lightly).
It’s also been a time of fierce grace and kindness.
It’s brought forward (manifested) people that humble me each day with generosity and love. It’s been a beautiful reminder as I live This Life of how I would like to continue to interact and live my life.
It occurred to me yesterday that it’s the not knowing that’s been the hardest.
I’ve been stressing out about things I can’t control. About needing to know. In truth, I don’t really need to know. I just want to know.
The not knowing is quietly (and not so quietly) teaching me to lay it all down. To look at, asses, ask myself… What do I want to pick up and carry? What do I want to let go of?
It’s slowly (and brutally) reminding me and teaching me to see and experience that this life (for me) is one that is shaped, lived in gratitude, heart, courage, faith and love. In self, others and the Universe. Always beautiful. Something I sometimes forget.
I’m learning to ask – will you let me know? A small, subtle shift that I believe (hope) will allow for unfolding as it’s meant to be instead of me pushing. (Which I’ve been known to do).
I don’t know what the future holds. I’ve moved forward into some clarity. I have a very broad plan. It’s scary as hell. Mostly because beyond that I just don’t know. That. is. O.K.
I’m meant to keep unfolding. To keep asking for help. To keep turning over rocks. To not discount myself. To flow with the rhythms of what is emerging. To grow. To practice gratitude, courage, faith and love. Daily.
I’m learning that letting go, asking and letting it unfold are practices, much like unconditional love, forgiveness. I’ll be working with them for the duration of This Life. This feels good in both my heart and head.
Through it all I keep looping back to this…
Family. Tribe. Friends. Creating. Making. Being. Courage. Faith. Gratitude. Love. Heart.
I’m good. It’s been a work in progress.
It is enough.
PS: The photos are from this weekend. One for each day starting Friday. In all my years of taking photos for my Through The Lens series I’ve never taken one, let alone a series of photos with light, energy and grace streaking through them. All my photos are taken on my iPhone and are unfiltered. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
“Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.” Ruth Gordon
I’ve been humbled these last days, weeks by the generosity of spirit and love shown to me. Thank you.
Love takes courage. The more I love the more I strengthen the muscles of the giving and receiving of it.
I’m a firm believer that love takes work. That it shapes who I am.
Love, for me, is unconditional. It is a practice I choose. Every day. Albeit, some days more successfully than others.
I’ll be brutally honest, next to forgiveness; it’s one of the hardest practices I’ve taken on. It’s broken my heart wide open – lord I lost count a.while.ago!
Love is… Wonder. Light. Dark. Uncomfortable. Joyful. Possibility. Sadness. Peace. Laughter.
Love is… everything.
Love should never be taken lightly. It is always present. Always.
To love… That my heart and soul are always open to it and that it is always open and present for my family, friends and tribe.
To love…That it keep me wide open to new opportunities, to new ways of seeing life. Me.
To love… That it keeps me open to those I don’t know, may never know and that it introduces me to those that I will know, but haven’t met yet.
To love… May you be present in my head, heart and soul. Always.
To love… That it open me to seeing, experiencing the possibilities that are manifesting, happening and guiding me.
To love… That I continue to practice it. That with it I grow into the power of me. To become more within it, of it.
To love… That I continue to do it unconditionally.
To love… You rock.
“What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.” Anonymous
I was reminded this weekend physically, mentally and by friends that working towards balance is important to a whole, wonderful life. That this life is now. There are no do overs. To not lose site of how important it is to make time for self, making new friends, treasuring old friends, family, tribe and community.
I’d forgotten that the last 26-days of working with no break and unsustainable hours. I. Am. Really. Not. Kidding.
Towards the end my brain (and me I suspect) was not functioning at its best. By mid-week last week pure exhaustion had set in. Yet, I kept at it. Work needed to get done. I even planned to work 6-8 hours – each day – this last weekend. Thinking if I could push through to the 4th of July weekend. Take some time then. Rest then. Recoup then. I’d be good. Body? Brain? By last Friday? They did what I didn’t (wouldn’t) do for them. Shut down. Rested.
An event Friday evening, personal things the last weeks (not honored or attended to) and a conversation Saturday reminded me that life is about choice (s). I have them. My work – the next months – is to get better at boundaries (setting them). Working on integrating wellness, health and life in a balanced way. For self, family and tribe. It’s most likely a life long practice for me.
I was reminded that when I work unsustainable hours I don’t work from balance. I work from scarcity. When I’m in scarcity I’m vulnerable. It’s in these moments I need to take down time, circle back and connect with my core values. When I don’t the universe, god, friends and family subtly and not so subtly walk me back. I need to get better at me walking me back to …
Courage. Faith. Authenticity.
Each time I choose one or all I choose from a place of love. From balance. From grace. From light. It’s then I step into more.
A post I read Saturday brought it all home. That to let go, surrender and fall can be to fall up. That in surrendering I let go of what is not serving me and open myself up to the freedom of so much more. Albeit, much of it not yet known. In the letting go I open up to infinite possibilities, beauty and blessings that will serve me in working to actualize a more balanced, beautiful life. Scary and exciting in a butterflies in the stomach kind of way.
You all walked me back.
This life is pretty amazing isn’t it?
“You can find magic where ever you look,” Dr. Seuss.
Faith is a core value of mine. Some of you know this about me. Others? Maybe not. I’ve usually been pretty quiet about it. But I’ve always had it. Even when I didn’t know it had a name. It was (is) something, someone higher. A feeling of completeness. Oneness. Strength. Like Love. It just Is. At times it’s been stronger than others. As I grow older it’s become stronger. In self. Others. Source. God. Buddha. Choose a name. I’m open.
I didn’t grow up in a faith-based family. The journey to and of faith has been interesting. I’ve had bumps along the way. But all in all it’s been a good one. The last year (s) have been deeply grounded in faith. Placing faith in self. Others. The unknown. That the choices – the brutally hard ones and the amazing ones – are, have been, intuitively the right ones. They feel right. Grounded in Faith.
I’m looking forward to discovering where it takes me in the year (s) to come. In this time. In this life. To new experiences in San Francisco. To existing and new friends here. To family and friends in Portland and Bend. To friends around the globe.
To tribe. Thank you. For supporting me. Loving me. Being there for me.
For having Faith in me.