Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dream Big

So, here's the deal.  I've been following this amazing Goddess on Earth for a few years and would like to recommend that you follow her as well.  I won't go into lots of details because the truth is....I've never met her.  She's not my guru, not my friend, but has inspired me quite a bit and at  4:00PM today she is doing her yearly FB pajama party planning session.  Her name is Leonie Dawson and she comes from the land down under. 

I, unfortunately, will not be in my pajamas when this begins.  I'll most likely be at an early dinner with the kiddos at an undisclosed restaurant in Nashville.  Damn.  And, I'll most likely be breaking all of our family rules about media and screens at the dinner table which means I may have to let the kids have screens as well.  Not sure about that yet.

My favorite product from Leonie, other than her weekly emails, is her workbook, which I am using this year.  For many years I have followed Sarah ban Breathnach and though I love her work, I never loved her workbook that accompanied the Simple Abundance book that she is most well known for.  For me, this is sort of like taking some of what is in SA and putting it into really bright dynamic content that helps you break into that next level.

According to many sources, Americans are visual learners and I must say that applies to me as well.  That's probably why I like this book so much.  It.  Is.  Very.  Visual.  

So, take a look at Leonie today.  Hop on the FB pajama party page and get to making this your best year yet!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

24 Days of Christmas - Day 2

Today is Giving Tuesday.  It is a day when we think about the importance of giving instead of receiving.  For us, giving comes in many forms.  Today's giving for me was in putting together messaging for a non-profit trying to raise money on what promises to be a huge day for those doing good works around the world.  For Nathan, it is possibly giving up his Tuesday night to deliver wreaths from our son's Boy Scout fundraiser.  On Sunday, giving for the Sun meant serving 20 homeless men for three hours with his church youth group. 

Unfortunately, the hours we give are not enough.  To make things happen in this world, money is also required.  That's why today we will also make a small gift financially to the person/organization of our choice.  Today's gift will most likely be someone or some group tied to orphans living in one of China's many orphanages.

In the spirit of giving, I want to share with you some of the organizations that have their way into my "in-box" today in case you are at a loss of who put on your #givingtuesday list.

Happy Giving!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Are You Homeless? I'm Sorry to Hear It.

Each week after play practice and violin lessons and strings ensemble the kids and I head to a nearby restaurant for a late dinner.  Last night we had the added bonus of my husband joining us.  The Moon told him we were eating sushi and he decided to join us.  With the kids and I a sushi dinner bill would typically run about $30 with drinks and a tip.  Okay.  Maybe $40.  Add the hubby and we laid down a cool $75.00 on the table.  It was a splurge for us.  Sushi usually is and we only have it three or four times a year as a family.  I don't mean to mislead you.  We eat out.  In a normal week the kids and I find ourselves in a restaurant two to three times.  When I worked full-time it was much more.  Now that I am hope full-time again I am working on getting it down to no more than two. 

After dinner as we took the long stroll back to our car a man approached us.  He walked with purpose and made an effort to step to the right to allow our family of four to pass.  That is why I was so surprised when he asked us for money.  Living in a city with a huge economic boom and an ever-increasing homeless population, I am no stranger to being asked for money.  Normally I can spot them at fifty paces.  Suddenly we were all stopped on the street and being told by a complete stranger that he was hungry.  A veteran who served six years in the military.  Showing us his military id.  As usual, Nathan and I did not know immediately what to do.  The answer from me is typically "no."  But, something was different with this man. He wasn't mean or aggressive.  OK.  Don't get mad.  So many of the people I have been approached by in Nashville have been quite aggressive.  No, I don't think most were mentally ill.  Some are.  I can think of a couple.  But, some have been quite insistent.  Not this man.

The Moon must have felt it too.  Just after Nathan handed the man a small bit of cash, she said to the Man, "Are you homeless?  I am sorry to hear that."  "Yes", he said "thank you for caring."  And then, "I hope your life gets better soon, sir".  Then we walked away.  As she began to sing whatever Disney song popped into her head at that moment the Sun said, "That's why I want to be rich Mama.  To help all the people in the world."  

As adults, we often do not know what to say or do when faced with someone in need.  But a child always knows.  And, to have a child who has known such loss in her own life who is capable of such compassion is a true gift. 

I cried the entire way home.  I cried for my children who will be faced throughout their lives with people in need and I pray they find ways to help.  I cried for the people in the world who are lacking.  We are not rich but we can splurge on occasion for something beyond potato soup or chili which is the bounty that frequently blesses our table.  I cried for myself and my own shortcomings as I  wondered if I do enough to help my fellow man.  I am crying now as I write this and think of that sweet face asking innocently, "Are you homeless?" 

As usual I do not have the answers to life but know that my children teach me in great ways each and every day.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

7 Things I Learned at the Beach

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, FB, in other words, if you cannot get enough of my very regular life, you know we spent last week at the beach. And, you may know that our beloved cat of 16 years passed beyond the veil while we were gone. This year has seen great change in our lives and I spent much of last week in great introspection when I wasn't hauling things to and from the beach, jumping the waves, eating or sightseeing. Maybe you'll find something here of use or maybe you'll just get a kick out of knowing how my mind works.

It is hard to explain, unless you come from a family like the one I grew up in, how you can have laughter among the tears when the bad parts of life interfere with the good.  There are times when I feel this is one of, if not THE greatest lesson I can give my children.  We stood huddled together on the beach on Sunday night saying goodbye to our sweet kitty and through the tears came the jokes and funny remembrances.  You see, life goes on and though bad things happen, it is the joy that keeps us going.

We are blessed to live on a perfect and beautiful planet where all of our needs are met by the environment around us.  I am sometimes distressed and saddened by the greed and over consumption that grips our world and brings destruction upon that which sustains us.  Whether your go-to place is the top of a mountain or at the beach, spending a week of time in nature reminds us what is beautiful and perfect and that we must protect it at all costs.  We lived very simply last week and this week I continue to evaluate how we can do this to an even greater degree.  Maybe you will too.

There were nights when we were down on the beach and though I could not see well I could hear the power of the waves crashing toward me.  There is something about hearing that sound but not seeing what is coming that is very powerful and humbling.  Even more powerful is looking up at the sky while hearing those sounds and seeing more stars than can ever be counted by the naked eye.  The Universe around me is immense and I know in that moment that I am only a particle of sand that makes up the whole.

As I watching the Sun and the Moon playing on the beach and in the surf I was reminded that I have been given a gift and that this gift is fleeting in the span of this lifetime.  How do I make their childhood and my time with them count?

There are days when I feel the years creeping up on me.  I have tried to forget as much of my life or move beyond it at any rate than I can remember.  But there have been great joys as well.  There are few things like picking up a board and running into the surf that teach you to truly enjoy life and be in the moment.  I'll spare you the photos (though Nathan took some) but in them you can see the joy we all had in those moments.


When you take a break from your "real" life (isn't all life real?) other words, when you take a step back from your day to day life, when you step out of your routine, you see a whole other world around you there for the taking.  Life moves quickly and I am still young.  Are there dreams I want to achieve that I have not yet accomplished?   A week at the beach had me seeing each of those distant stars as dreams that I can achieve in this life and I have many!

I have no idea how large our condo was last week.  1200 square feet?  1500?  Certainly no more.  It was an old hotel that has been renovated into single owner condos.  Each one was made up of four hotel rooms that have been gutted and put back together into amazing high end units.  Throughout the week I marveled that we had few toys (none other than beach toys), a small but well appointed kitchen combined with a dining and living room and two beautiful bedrooms.  It was all piled into three rooms plus two small bathrooms.  I did take our panini maker and Nutro-Bullet.  Otherwise, there was nothing we needed that we did not have the entire week.  I know it seems like numbers 2 and 7 are the same but there are different messages in each one.  And, these messages are important enough to say again and again.

Now that we are home I am listening to the messages from last week and working to apply them to our lives each day.  Maybe one of these messages will resonate with you or maybe you'll be inspired to take your own break from the mundane to see what messages the Universe holds for you.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday, August 31, 2014

#SYTS Speak Your Truth

I love #TBT.  Don't you?   It's so fun to look back on our lives and think about where we've been, how small our children were, how small we were.  How can we start an effort where we speak out truth and spread something positive?  Today I heard this fantastic song and thought to myself, "I want to spread this around as a great message for our girls" and by "our" I mean all the girls.  So, I came up with #SYTS.  Here it is folks.  Listen to the lyrics Get ready to dance!  And, spread your message for good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Full Moon Rising

I was driving along today in the glory of spring and saw the moon beginning to rise early on the horizon.  It reminded me of the energy I have had the last few days.  There is nothing like a waxing moon to give me a little extra get up and go.  You see, “I was born under the sign of Cancer….” (Love Will Come to You, Indigo Girls).

It is the moon that gives me such energy and I lay in bed last night I told Nathan that I must get all of the seeds into the ground by Thursday as the moon is waxing full.  Unfortunately, those seeds may never grow into the beautiful plants that I was hoping for.  This morning, the Moon looked out the kitchen and began to scream “CROWS, CROWS DADDY!”  They ran outside to chase them away but Nathan fears they have eaten all of my carefully planted green onion, okra, bush bean and sunflower seeds that filled the upper corner of the garden.  He asked me tonight, “How do you think they knew where those seeds were?”  I don’t know.

But what I do know is that we will have a garden.  I may be forced to plant vegetables that have been started in someone else’s garden, but we will have our fill of vegetables on our table each night.  After all, “I’m [a]….old Southern woman and we’re supposed to wear funny looking hats and ugly clothes and grow vegetables in the dirt. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t know why, I don’t make the rules!”

I will leave you tonight with one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs from the album Rites of Passage. BTW. The Indigo Girls will be playing on Thursday night, May 15 at the Thistle Stop Café in Nashville to support the women of Magdalene House.

Christmas Miracles

December 13, 2013

Miracles happen.  I believe they do.  Sarah Ban Breathnach, one of the sages of our time, suggests in her book Simple Abundance, that you ask for a miracle each day.  I do.  How we judge those miracles, if we even recognize them, makes all the difference in the world.  I believe it was divine intervention, or a miracle, when I ran into a an old college pal who is part of an amazing Boy Scout troop here in our area.  That troop turned out to be the right mix of boys and leaders who were a perfect fit for the Sun and my husband as he is one of the leaders now as well.

(This is the part when it becomes all about me.)  When I found out that the leaders paid for a large portion of the trip fees and supported camp fees for families who could not otherwise afford it, my fundraising instincts kicked in and I searched for the perfect means of bringing in much-needed dollars to the troop.  We (meaning me) decided upon the  Sherwood Farms Wreath  Fundraiser.  When deciding on a fundraiser, I have some personal criteria it must meet.  It must be:  consumable, environmentally friendly, food-free and a value for the patron.  This met it all.  We set the goal for the troop – $2,000 (or, enough money to purchase 10 new REI two-person tents.)  Despite my do-it-myself nature, I stepped out of the picture at this point and allowed the troop take over.  Guess what?  They met their goal and purchased the tents with the profit from the first fundraiser they have undertaken in over 20 years.  (Did I mention this troop is 75 years old?)

You are wondering where the miracle come in, right?   Of course, I think there are many miracles in this story.  The first is connecting my family to this group.  The second is the community support of the wreaths to purchase the tents needed for this troop (a very active group of boys and men!)  Now, here is the third.

During the wreath sales the troop was asked to work with a profoundly disabled youth, to bring him into the troop and treat him like any other boy.  They did.  I won’t go into details about this child, but I will say that being physically present is his only participation at this point.  No one batted an eye at the presence of this child.  He was welcomed as every child is by each of the boys and leaders.   And, finally, due to the presence of the troop and its wreath sales (which by the way, attracted several new Boy Scouts to the troop) another group took notice of this troop and awarded them a large donation which will serve as the seed money to pay the way for trips and camps for the boys whose families cannot afford to pay.

There is good in the world.  Miracles happen each and every day.  The media would have us believe in hatred, war and violence – and yes, those things exist.   But what also exists is generosity and love and…..miracles.  How have you made a difference in the lives of others this year and are you able to make a difference, even in some small way, each and every day?

Pray for Peace or Create Peace?

 July 30, 2014

A few days ago I saw a quote from the Dalai Lama.  It said, “ Peace does not come through prayer, we human beings must create peace.”  Typically, when I see quotes from the Dalai Lama, I am immediately moved by the wisdom shared.  He is, after all, the Dalai Lama.  But, does that make him right all of the time?  On Sunday I sat in church and listened to the priest and a beautiful sermon on the parables and as so often has happened the past few weeks thought about, prayed about, the situation in Gaza.  There were other things on my mind as well, refugee children, Ebola, increased unsafety in my neighborhood.  The Gaza situation, indeed all of the unrest in the Middle East continued to be forefront in my mind.  The Dalai Lama quote came repeatedly into my mind.  Do my prayers help?  Does praying for peace stop Hamas from sending missiles from civilian areas into Israel?  Does praying for peace end the Israeli assault on Palestinians and protect innocents who have been used by militants as a shield these many years?  Do my prayers stop the hatred that is in the hearts of those so intent on destroying one another?  I do not know the answers to these things.

What I do know, for myself, is that peace is first prayed.  It is a thought, a word, a spark of intention that must grow within me to be carried out to the world.  I do not always have peace.  It angers me that Hamas leaders would use their own people to hide their cowardly attacks.  I am outraged that Israel has continued its aggression toward civilians.  I am worried that unrest in that part of the world will continue to spur attacks such as the one on the Iranian embassy in Lebanon in 2013.  And, I have fear that these atrocities will continue to spill over into the rest of the world, as they have done in the past, and affect my peace here on my own piece of land that I love so much.

I cannot create peace for those affected in the Middle East.  But, I can pray.  I can pray for my own peace – inner peace.  I can continue to hold a light for those in peril and those causing the dangers.  I can hope that the peace I pray for today allows me to create in and around my home which will hopefully set an example for the two young charges growing up in this home, in this world.  Are you praying for peace?  And, are you allowing those prayer to help you create a greater peace to share with the rest of the world?

Making My Own Path

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ah....Epiphany (January 7, 2013)

1. a. A Christian feast celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
b. January 6, on which this feast is traditionally observed.
2. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being.
3. a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.
b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization

This year the date of January 6 - the date of Epiphany - has somehow seemed important to me.  Off and on since Christmas I have been blogging about the gifts I have received.  Some may think I am blogging to brag - not so.  I am just so grateful for those gifts and felt much like a queen receiving gifts from those ancient astrologers on the days leading up to and the day of Christmas.

The gifts, though, are much more than the material objects they represent.  The gifts are of love given and of love that I will return.  The cooking gifts - the new spoons and the dutch oven - will allow me to give love back to those around my in the form of meals from the heart, the new socks will keep my feet warm at night as I lay cuddled up to the children reading them books, the healing salve will be kept in my purse - ready to soothe a skinned knee in a moment's notice.

Epiphany.  That's what I had yesterday as I sat through the ordinations service of a dear friend who is herself a light - a Joy to the world.  Yesterday's epiphany allowed me to transcend the fears I have been holding on to the last few weeks regarding big changes on my personal horizon and of those of my family.  My epiphany is when the light shined and the darkness cleared away and I could once again see.

The twelve days of Christmas, the gifts I have received, they all have meaning and lead me to an openness and gratitude.  Above all else at this point in my life, I am a Mother.  I AM MOTHER.  I must lead my children through example and my example is one of epiphany.  Let the light return and let us move toward the sun.  Happy Monday.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do not stand by my grave and weep
Mary Frye in 1932

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
(Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!)

Friday, July 16, 2010


A Hand Made Wreath
an Ancient Rite
Circling the Maypole
to Welcome the Harvest
the Marriage of the God and Goddess
a Beltane Celebration.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Christian the Lion

Okay, everyone in the world has probably seen this, but this is the most touching thing I've seen in a long time. Please watch this remarkable video!

Christian the Lion

Friday, June 6, 2008

Go Figure

This has been a tough week. Nathan was sick over the weekend with what we think was a sinus infections. By Tuesday night I had it and by Wednesday night Noah had it. Wednesday I was blessed by a neighbor who offered to take Noah for the afternoon of swimming. I rested all afternoon and evening. Thursday, Noah was feeling fairly sick and spent the day lying around with me. We read and snuggled and watched a little TV. All was good. Today, we are both feeling better but neither are quite at 100%. I worked around the yard until I finally had to rest. I decided to lie down in my room and told Noah he has to rest in his room but he does not have to nap. I tell him that because I know that he never naps. I mean really, I could nap every day but he naps perhaps once or twice a year at this point. So....I do not go to sleep. I read while I'm resting and an hour later I hear Noah's alarm going off letting him know that the hour is up. I go in to let him know that it is okay if he gets up to play and lo and behold...he is asleep. Can you believe it? I pray daily that he will nap! I am still sick and really wanted to sleep but did not even try today. Oh well...I am able to sit and listen to my new discovery - Hay House Radio. Right now as I work I am listening to Esther and Jerry Hicks - the Law of Attraction folks and am really relaxed. So, I guess it all worked out as it should. I am still relaxed and Noah is getting the rest that he obviously needs to fully recover from this illness.