morning light wisdom

what change asks…

April 22, 2013

new me


What change asks of you…

change reveals what you care about the most

change checks your perceptions and judgments

change makes space for you to fall apart, then asks you to get it together

change shows you the path to grieve

change asks you to take a chance or risk

change calls us without our permission

change invites you in… and out

change asks you to stretch in ways you never planned or imagined

change asks us to honor our needs

change invites power or let’s you be the victim, it tells you to decide which one

change surprises you

change leaves no where to hide

change knows our secrets and even the parts we haven’t discovered yet, like our resolve and tenacity

change asks you to widen your heart

change connects our shared humanity

…and whether we survive, celebrate or fight it, it always wins…and where we find ourselves and souls in the midst of it is up to us.

the power of seven…

November 24, 2012

her face when I asked her what her power feels like


“Mom, I don’t know how this happened but it did….” she said as she strapped her bag on like Angelina-Jolie in a super-power-kick-ass action flick.

Me: What happened?!!

Her: Well, you know how I used to not be so fast, couldn’t jump, got tired and stuff? Well, you know, that was when I was six, but I am seven now and I just feel fast and like a good hiker. I feel so much POWER, like I am a great artist and good at ballet…mom, I am hard core Parkour.

Me: Oh, Luce, that is so rad. It feels so good to know your power huh?

Her: Yeah, it totally does.

…and she ran away to hop rocks in her hot pink suede boots. I have no idea how she even knows about parkour. * …and she turned 7 months ago, so I don’t know why this was the day she called it out, but she did.

I know she felt the thrill of free running, just like those crazy, amazing men hopping across buildings in France. She saw herself just like that and every leap across the rocky terrain exposed her manifestation…her power was stacking.

She reached her first obstacle, the divide looked too big and she started to doubt because there is always a moment of doubt.

Her: Mom, I am afraid.

Me: I know…I feel like that too sometimes, but just because you are afraid doesn’t mean your power is gone. It just may take a minute for you to find it, but it’s still there.

Her:  (just a minute later) Okay, yeah. I think I got it.

…and she did.

…and I seriously started to wonder if you can wake up one day and decide for something to be true about yourself …and then it is.

…that someplace inside you there is a power that will give you the courage and strength to take on something that feels so outside your reach. There is no guarantee that you will be perfect at it or that it won’t be hard but that maybe you will have the power to live and be it. …and the chance of obstacles is so high, but maybe that just isn’t a good enough reason to not do it anymore. …because you are 7 now.

It feels so, so hardcore parkour. 

On our way hiking back, I was thinking out loud and said, “Hmmm, not sure which way to go.”

Her: Mom, take my hand, I know the way…even grown ups need someone to help them find their power some times.

She lead the way and I wondered what the power of 37 or 43 or 56 may be. …because today I found out my inner seven year old ain’t no joke, and has some power free running left to do.

If you feel like connecting in the comments today: What power of your age is waiting for you to call out? What one thing do you wish you could do or be? It’s never too late to find your power.

*I can only guess from 2 You Tube lovin’ older brothers, the same people I had to convince just yesterday that taking video of your baby sister (Lyra) accidentally saying “damn it” was NOT appropriate to upload to the internet. (or video for that matter) They thought it was hilarious, which felt sort of ironic to me. …and mildly funny.

“I am so excited mom…but I am a little nervous too.” she said while she shuffled around staring at her new chocolate boots and the chalk art on the ground.

“I know, me too.” I answered, staring at this girl of mine. “I think it’s always like that when you start something new.” I said with my you-got-this confidence voice.

Truth is- I’ve been a little more than a little nervous. My brow has stayed in the mother furrowed position.

Do you think she will be okay?

You know she has that funky way of processing…it probably means she’s brilliant or something, but that stuff never fits in school. I don’t even care if she’s brilliant or not, she’s so persistent, bossy, loving and can be so intense, and don’t forget her insane desire to do, be, make art…this kid needs to be heard, understood…seen. Awww hell, we all need that.

Do you think this was my big sign from the universe that I should homeschool? …oh God, I am not sure I can handle it.

We really should just save our pennies now for that magical middle school for girls that we can probably never afford.

…I am not even sure who I was talking to but my mind went on and on.

…and then I did the only thing I knew to do, I took her out for a girly day. A new uniform, a pixie hair cut, a big flower headband…and lots of fill-her-soul up stuff, friends, books, nature,and nail polish. Her excitement was building, she was so blissed out. So ready for the next step.

…and somewhere in the middle of all the soul filling I realized I was actually the one being taken to school. I didn’t see it but at some point she crawled out of my body and became her own person. I mean, my body doesn’t even keep her alive any more, she doesn’t have any trouble saying how she feels or asking for what she needs, and every skill that drove me crazy at age 3 turned out to be the best tricks in her bag to navigate life so far.

How did this happen? How did I get enrolled in the school of independence? What. The. What?

Ohhhh, I knew it. I know one day…

she will have a crappy teacher that may not get her

she may rock the hell out of her art show

she will figure out some boy/girl is just not for her or she may get dumped

she will have to stand up for herself or walk away

she will hate me when I tell her she can’t wear that trashy skirt

she will be wounded, and find a way to heal

she will be be brave and kind

she will stumble, make a horrible mistake and be sorry

she will put on the most perfect outfit and feel so full of every part of her beautiful body and self

she will wonder if she is enough

she will dance

she will feel alone and have to give what she needs to herself

she will drink too much and regret it…and then do it again

she will fail

she will triumph

she will love deeply, with all of her heart

…she will live her very own life.

…and there’s nothing I can do about it. …and that’s wonderful and terrifying. …and then I took a deep breath and looked around. I looked at her papa wrap his arms around her…and I looked at my friend Emily hold her Marie close…with the same look of confidence in her eyes. the same look of love.

…and every spot I looked held the same love she’ll need, the same love she knows, the love birth gave her, the love her soul has always held.

So I cursed the school under my breath knowing I have so many more classes to go to…but sat down in the love, remembering it has never left me either.

HOW ARE YOU? she texts…I know she can feel me even from 1,000 miles away.

I’m okay…feeling a little lighter, more hopeful…I text back… and I am trying to reframe it all, and trust that all’s well…that there is a purpose…because there usually is, eventually. ..but it still sucks and maybe that’s okay too.

Nothing has quite worked out the way I hoped for this vacation, so far anyway. It started with a nostalgia I didn’t see coming, then hives, then a trip to the ER (everyone is fine) and ended with some sad news of a failing family member. The kind of news that sinks to your gut…and it feels as if there is no relief, no rest, only sadness. But at the bottom of deep grief is great love. I know this, I know this is why we have to hold grief close and honor it.

and I feel her too…it’s growing pains she says. …and I feel her struggle for one moment but then I feel pride, proud to know her because I know she is choosing to grow, again, even if it’s hard. She always does it with grace and bravery…over and over again. …and selfishly, I know she will share her growing with me, because this is what we do.

…and I realized it may always be hard, because life is…and I can hear my mother’s voice in my head, “Oh honey, you will not regret working on hard things now when you are old. Trust me.”

I file this wisdom away in my heart and text her back…We are strong…and we are choosing this life…we are going to be rad, caring old ladies…I realize we do not have to be afraid of hard, we will find our way…and sometimes we will be sad, so sad…

and this sadness will give us the vision to see it in someone else and know

and this hard will dig our well of love even deeper

and this grief is sacred, holy, true

and this growth takes us to a new place, closer to being whole

and this anger and frustration will fuel the change we need

and this pain pushes us closer to the only thing that matters, each other

and this truth that unfolds before us will make us wise


….and this is what we will hold to today. …and pray, pray, pray there is some kind of rest and recovery for the rest of the trip, because there has to be.


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The staycation kinda bombed, the bliss and the we-can-do-it togetherness is sort of waning due to even greater uncertainty- it’s like there is always one more step beyond the edge…and I am tired, passive aggressive and oh so grouchy…and what do you do with that the one step beyond? because THAT is the killer step…and then I wondered, how would I tell you that or what do I even DO about it? I have no idea. While in the shower, I thought to myself, “Awww screw it, just say THAT!

Almost every time I hit that point, things become a little bit clearer- not always better but maybe it is some way out. So this is what I am planning to do today, in all my grouchiness, feel free to join me if you are feeling grouchy too.

1. Yell, Growl, Do a marge simpson groan, Send a text. Any physical sound or form of frustration will do. The kind that lets the inside get outside with out hurting anyone else. You may have to go outside, nature can hear you and absorb, she’s super old. Send an SOS text to a friend, especially if you don’t feel like really talking.

2.Take an Emergen-C, Chug a glass of water, Eat something green. I know this is the very LAST thing you feel like doing but chances are even if you don’t feel totally connected to your body, it is in need of some care if you are grouchy. It can’t hurt.

3. Make your bed or shower,Take a nap. I promise you, clean sheets are the way to a new mind and heart. If your bed is already made religiously, a nap is probably in order. If you can’t turn your brain off or if you have small children- just lay there and close your eyes- rest, that’s right, rest. Showering is also helpful, who knew? Running water is a thing.

4. Just finish one thing. If there is total chaos around you or if you are overwhelmed, just do one thing, nothing else, just one. It doesn’t even have to be big. Mine is this blog post, I already feel better and dishes and a meeting are still waiting for me.

5. Say no to one thing. You don’t have to explain or apologize, just go to your e-mail right now and say you aren’t available and thank them, tell them you look forward to seeing so-and-so at the next meeting or event, or next opportunity- trust me, there is almost always another opportunity.

6. Make a sign. If you suck at telling people what you need, make a sign. I always get defensive and try to explain why I need all that, which is very little to begin with, just forget all that.
I need…
I need you to hug me…
I need 30 minutes by myself…
I need to know I’m not alone…
I need time with you…
I need to go see a movie…

If your people feel annoyed or angry, they probably need something too. Tell them to make a sign and then maybe you can help each other.

7. Kindness will melt you, Remind yourself you are loveable. – what would you do for a grouchy person that you really love? Do whatever that is for yourself.

In grouchy solidarity, text me “grouchy” to (407) 900-KIND and I will send you an encouraging, yet loving grouchy message back today. I know it will make me feel better too.

Texting closes at 10pm EST today!

her first, totally, completely self carved pumpkin:

There is this sort of evolution to discovering you can do something yourself. I know it sounds super trivial or simple, but I feel kind of like a little girl every time it happens.

Something presents itself- usually pretty organically.
An idea pops into your mind.
If you’re me, you wonder if you indeed can do it.
You gather your tools and courage. (for some of us or for the biggies, this can take FOREVER!)
You make many, many phone calls to trusted advisers and dear friends that serve as beloved shrinks to be sure this is indeed a good idea.
You sort of fumble around in the beginning.
A tiny misstep here, a major screw up there.
You scratch your head, or wail- depending on how big the required course correction.
You feel like it may not happen or you dig in, deeper than ever.
You look at it from all the angles.
You finally realize, you were meant to do it all along. You had it, deep in your heart you know it.
You hold it up to a light.
You did it. YOU did it.
You worship it…and yourself. (maybe just for a minute or maybe for a really long time)

You bliss out…until the next something presents itself. But every time, you hold a bigger piece of yourself.

Thinking of you today, for whatever something is waiting for you discover- you are doing it.

lyra grace

Her eyes alone can tell you she is almost three, ready to take on the world with the waffle headband and cherry boots she’s been rocking all summer. I have looked at this picture about 1,000 times this morning, mostly because she is making me crazy and I need a little reminder that I am actually in awe of her. She’s demanding and passionate, insisting that everything be done just so and now. She’s completely irrational.

For months I’ve had my eye on getting some big kindness work done, calling into being the ideas and dreams I’ve held close for quite some time. Something so exciting coming just this week (stay tuned) became a sort of deadline, the spark needed to set the roaring fire going. I’ve known for months, feeling the weight of the time approaching and still I procrastinated. It’s like almost impossible for me to work any other way, not to mention my kindness ADD where I am constantly distracted by the never ending opportunities surrounding me every where I go.

As I was gearing up my inner three year old this weekend, to call in all the help I need to pull something grand off, the flu descended upon my house. Well,  upon Jorge actually.

The flu, THE FLU. We went from pulling all nighters, throwin’ back the redbulls and high fivin’ in the morning over the amazing work done to please, please oh God, please don’t let it spread, massive amounts of Emergen-C, Lysol is now your best friend, hazmat quarantine, I can’t believe he is more than man-sick and HOW AM I EVER GOING TO GET IT DONE? …and I was mad, so mad because I thought it was going to be my time,  mad that I procrastinated, mad my children were needier than ever, mad that my poor husband had the flu.

How can you be mad at someone who is deathly ill with the flu?! Hello irrational thoughts…

The weekend went by, I gave impeccable care to Jorge with almost no bedside manner, barked at children and was generally grouchy and miserable. So this morning I woke up, threw on a waffle headband and some running shoes, prayed that Pandora would hold out and not stutter and freeze on my crappy phone and ran.  And for some strange reason, the Girl Talk channel spoke to me, the Universe conspired and played the exact right song after song until I reached the park where I promptly sat down and cried. …and I felt better.

On the way home a wise friend told me I may want to make friends with those irrational thoughts, sit in the humanity for a bit…so I could let them go (and not resent my dear family or treat them badly).  …and she was right because even when you are 3 or 34, you really just want someone to hear your rant, hold you and tell you all will be fine…whether you can’t have ice cream for breakfast or your spankin’ new kindness website won’t get done in time.

It’s really all okay… because the ice cream and website will be super sweet when the time is right. and you will get it…because you have your power headband on…and your cherry boots.

us…on the 13th anniversary of our marriage, and 19 years together

I have no idea how it all works, this love thing…but over the last week, I am becoming even more sure of one thing…whatever it is, it is worth it.

I sat next to this man, while we dropped off children at school, put oil in a leaky car, ate breakfast, talked of uncertain times, watched a movie, dreamed of travel, of being alone, and took this picture while little people tried to pop their round faces in the shot, over and over again…and I knew it, it hit me plain as day, I always knew it was right to follow this love, to stand in it, to believe it fiercely, to fight for and collapse in it,  to savor it, to fear it, to be changed by it, to rest in it, to come home to it, to worship it, to hold it so tenderly, to give it everything I have…and we didand we will.

It is my one true thing.

…and yet so many times I am baffled by it, or sort of lost in the power of it, and really, it can not be explained but all along the way, I am gathering little pieces. like…

I know there is nothing like it…

I know it may ask you to be a warrior…

I know it can hold more than I ever imagined…

I know when it’s good, it’s PHENOMENAL , and when it’s bad, well… *sigh*

I know it is everything, the root of who we are…I know we all need it desperately…

These small/big truths are like a light that take me to the next place of knowing myself and learning how to love better, or how to receive it, or just be closer to the only thing that matters…and I imagine we all know a little something about love, whether we have it or need it or offer it. Whether it has crushed us or saved us…whether we are old or young, or somewhere in between…we all hold it.

So you must tell me…what do you know about love? I left these little cards across the city telling you a little I know and asking you to tell me, whatever you know  (the good, bad and ugly-and all different kinds) about love…I’m pretty sure we are all trying to figure it out.

If you found a card, write your answer and leave for the next person to find…everyone else- tell us your bits o’ wisdom or stories in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter.

The swear jar found its way to our shelf this week. It is not for my children, it’s for me. I love to swear, I really do. Never at my children or to them, mostly my friends and Jorge. Anytime there is a reason to exaggerate anything, to be funny, to be shocking, it just feels these are the only appropriate words for such situations. It isn’t something I hide from my children exactly, I know, it’s awful on so many levels.

I was talking to a friend on the phone this week about her life, her terrible boss, it was sympathy swearing. After I hung up, I saw Josiah sitting on the bench looking low. I asked him if he was okay, he nodded and off we went to pick up the girls from preschool. As we pulled away from the car pool line, he said,

“Mom, can we talk about something?” (his lower lip starting to quiver).

“Yeah, what is it?” I replied.

“Remember before?….” He burst into tears. “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, or make you feel bad, I really don’t, but it just bothers  me when you… when you swear.” 

It was obvious he had been holding it, for much longer than this moment. You could feel the courage it took to tell someone you love that something about them is, well, wrong and not good for you or them. And then I had a strange reaction, I was slightly annoyed, felt terrible and very proud, all at the same time.

“Yes, I hear you. Wow, that was very brave of you, to tell me that, I’m really proud. ” I said.

He nodded his head. “It took me all morning to gather up my courage.” he said,  his eyes full of tears. And I venture to guess it wasn’t because he thought I would be mad as much as he didn’t want to hurt me.

“I’m so glad you did. But I have a question? Does it bother you because it makes you uncomfortable or does it just feel wrong?” I inquired.

“The wrong one.” he said.

“Okay, yes, it is wrong. I never want to make you feel bad either. I will stop but I must tell you, it’s gonna be hard.”  I admitted.

“I know.” he said. And he does know.

“The thing is Josiah, when I was a kid and an adult, I tried so hard all the time to do everything right, and NEVER do anything wrong to feel okay and for people and grownups to like me, to love me even, and because I thought it made me a good person. But then I had to discover that maybe I was a good person even if I didn’t always do the “right” thing all the time. You know what? Swearing was my first try to not be so perfect, to make me feel human and I found out I could be loved and good. But I think I got that lesson down now and it just stuck, so maybe I don’t need to do it anymore. Thank you for helping me to realize it might be hurting people I love and I certainly don’t want that. I love you.”

“It’s okay mom. I understand.” he said with a half smile.

“I’m so proud of you, man that was big. We probably needed it, to tell each other how we feel because we’re headed to all this teenager stuff and were gonna need to do that a lot to help each other, huh?”

“Yeah, I think we can do it.” he said.

“Me too, me too.” and I sighed.

There is nothing like having your ass butt handed to you about the poor, ridiculous behavior that you kinda love. It’s so good/hard when your kid requires you to be a better person than you are ready/want to be at the moment. You discover that your sailor swearing self can somehow still be a good parent,  with the occasional quarter in the jar and all.