step in with your heart

family mornin’…

April 24, 2013

family morning family morning-2 family morning-3 family morning-4 family morning-5 family morning-6 family morning-7 family morning-8

this week…

February 24, 2012

actually from this week…shocking, I know.

this week…

December 17, 2011

well, last week, but you know…

“No matter what the world, cruel world does to you, never lose your faith. If you don’t know what you believe for your self you’ll be what every one wants you to be. God bless you. “-JS

given to me by a very, very kind drunk boy (stranger kindness) in a bar years ago…


It was dark, pouring down rain and cold no doubt, but the kids just kept going. “The NEXT one!” Lyra would shout and on we went. Those kids  sure worked for that candy.

Even in the dark, the kids were still coming together because nothing brings children together like Halloween, costumes and candy goodwill.

“What are you?” the small child, no older than three asked.
“I’m Frankenstein!” Liam answered.
“Who is that? A scary monster? the little boy said.

“Actually, he was no monster, he was gentle and very misunderstood.” his mother piped up.

All I could think about is how we are kind of all the things…

Written in 2008-

You are not so small to be just one idea, thought or emotion. You can be pissed and grateful, brave and scared, tired and hopeful, sad and yet full of joy…you can be all the things. There is space for all the hues, dark and light. When we try to be just one, we quiet something else.

Let it flow…and everything starts to make sense.

…maybe part monster, maybe part gentle soul, maybe part scared or misunderstood. This thought or concept has brought me so much comfort over the years and taught me so much about family life. It took me forever to figure out, my kids could be grouchy, or we could have a rough family outing and *I* could still have a good time…that I could be kind of annoyed yet still give myself permission to enjoy a moment or have my own experience entirely. It sounds small but was so big for me.

I have found myself in new ALL THE THINGS territory this week…somehow it spilled out onto forgiveness and conflict, which is so very hard for me. I don’t like being wrong because for so long I worked so hard at being “right”, thinking of it from every angle, trying so hard…making friends with my humanity has been a long struggle-caring so deeply, not wanting to think I have been unkind or thoughtless, those mistakes feel so deep for me. I end up justifying behavior or explaining a reason for my actions…when really I am still all the things.

I realized I can be sad, disappointed or even angry in a conflict and still own my part, be sorry. I can be wounded and make space to forgive or be sorry little by little, I can be wrong and a little bit right, I can honor each part. Then the light moves in, giving you the kindness you need for yourself, the kindness you can now offer. It doesn’t feel so big, so deep anymore…

…and once again kindness changes everything.

this week…

October 31, 2011

well, last week, but you know…


lots of hands, and helping, and banana phones this week…

if you found your way here via Oprah, this might be a good place to start! …it explains the breakdown and breakthrough of this kindness life. 🙂

the ordinary jazz hands…

September 20, 2011

My life sort of feels like a musical at the moment, of the Maria Von Trapp, High School Musical variety. The moments of climbing mountains, finding dreams or just trying to get my head in a new game are bountiful, oh, and there are LOTS of jazz hands.

I have moments of being paralyzed, just in awe of the swirl of recent goodness, wondering how I ended up here exactly and overwhelmed by what to do next. Then I glance over at the dishes piled up in the sink, or a small child insists on a princess cup, or you sit with your best friend at the kitchen table listening to stories of her artist amazing mom who passed away too soon, or an old neighborhood kid needs a ride home because he missed the bus and it is now raining, or you obsess over what words you should say to make something right to a friend, or you head out to a bereavement photography session, or you realize there is no milk for the cereal in the bowl…and life rolls on, as it should.

And you realize the magic of your life lies somewhere between the jazz hands and the ordinary. That great joy and hardship (along with with the mundane) almost always exist together. I always thought it was one or the other, forcing you to choose. It is when we honor and allow both to be that we find peace.

Your beautiful and messy life, the great successes and all the ways you can barely keep up, it is a gift to the world and to yourself.