Friday, January 31, 2014

learnin' from them still....

it's my youngest son's birthday today.

and he's not so darn young anymore.
it's really really really hard to wrap my head around
the fact that i have three grown men for kids.

i was thinking about him as i ran around doin' a few things
to get ready to celebrate.

he's one of my heroes.
how cool is that?!

i'm not sure, maybe a lotta moms feel that way.
but it doesn't feel like a 'mom' thing -
it feels like it's because he really is awesome.
not because he's my kid.
and i feel way way lucky to have him in my life.

even beyond lucky.


so i got to thinking of the things i've learned from him.

and i think that maybe one of the biggest things he's taught me,
and keeps teachin' me is this -

there's no excuse not to know.

if you want to know something -
go figure it out........find out about it....ask, research, experiment,try it -

and tagged on to that is this one -
it's never easy to learn something new. so what? do it anyway.

that's kinda cool, isn't it?

i think a lotta times people look at other people who have learned
something and figure it was easy for them. they didn't have to work as
hard at it, it came naturally to them.

please insert the famous raspberry noise here.

that's such a lame thought.

everyone works for what they learn.
and the ones who make it look easy are more than likely the ones who
have worked the hardest.

i watch my son.
even when i think it's easy for him, i realize it's not.
he works hard and he grows.
all the time.

he's a constant inspiration to me to just go do it.

i thought that was pretty cool.
i wanted to put that out there today.

it's something maybe we all need to remember.

the world is a way cooler place cause he's in it.
and i know i'm a way better person because of him.

wishin' my hero one heck of a happy birthday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


there's no way to escape it, is there?
life just does a number on ya.
no matter who you are or where you were born/raised.

it's the nature of living.

and we learn to toughen to get thru.

i see this a lot.
and i've lived it.

we toughen.
we have to.
but then there comes a time when we need to remember to soften.

way early on in my journey with bone sighs, i understood part of this.
i wrote a bone sigh about it

'there was a time the ice had saved her.
now only the thaw could.'

i'm thinking now tho, there's levels to that.
and i'm thinking this is really important.

and maybe having gotten thru the stuff that broke us open,
we need to keep looking to the softening.

ohhhhhh but wait - i can feel the protest inside me now -
it's not like there's just one thing you have to get thru,
it's not like there's just one event that will break you open
and then you're home free.

it's not like that.
life keeps dishing things out that make you want to toughen.

that make you think you have to toughen.

but i'm thinking if you've been broken open,
truly broken open,
and toughened to get thru,
maybe the wisdom to take from that journey is the understanding
that you can trust yourself.

you did what you had to do.
you can trust yourself.

maybe that's such a deep wisdom to take away from that.
and if you have that, or even just a tiny glimpse of that -
a real trust of yourself -
maybe you bring that to the idea of softening.
and maybe you mix the two.

because maybe the combination of trust in yourself,
and softening your heart once again,
brings strength that you can't even imagine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

shame school

so this whole shame journey i've decided to hop into?
i've started to call it 'shame school' and i'm tryin' hard to learn
about it, think about it, watch it, feel it, and work with all of me
that i can.

i've been watchin' my reactions and workin' with 'em.
i've been workin' on fillin' with good stuff and letting the bad out.
i've been thinking about it all as i go thru my days.

shame school.

and yeah, there's been those times i mentioned earlier -
you know, the wanting to throw up stuff.
or the crying or the cringing or the whatever.

definitely been part of the classes.

but there's been some really amazing stuff too.
stuff that actually feels empowering.
stuff that makes me feel alive.
a knowing i'm doin' what i need to.
a sharing with someone i love in a way i never have before.

empowering mixed in all the rest.

pretty amazing.

i was beginning to think i was onto something glorious here.

and then.......
very quietly, without me even knowing it,
a whole bunch of different strings dropped around me
and wrapped themselves into one heck of a ball and hurled
themselves at me.

i got hit in the face.
and knocked down.

certainly didn't feel empowered.

i felt small and insecure.

being reminded that the shame will fight back thru all this,
and it's my job to watch that and look it in the eye and say
'oh yeah?!'.......i remembered.

that's prolly true.
and yeah.....i think that's what happened.

okay. i said.
i'll get up again. and i'll keep at it.

taking a deep breath, i turned back to my nite.

but maybe there's a gentleness watching out for me thru this.
just maybe there's an energy that's on my side.

because at my lowest, my guy showed up.
and then after he left, a gift box from a friend was there waiting for me to open.
a soft, plush strawberry pink bunny with some delicious drinks was waiting for me.

as i curled into sleep with my pink bunny,
i wondered if some gentle power really was on my side.

it sure is a beautiful thought.
whether there is or not,
i knew some really special friends were....
and maybe that's enough.
well, that and havin' a pink bunny to see me thru......

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

our newsletter....

it's incredibly deliciously cold and dark right now.
my alarm woke me from a crazy dream that i'll be laughing about all day.
and it feels wintery cozy in here this morning,

which feels like the perfect morning to post our newsletter that goes out in a few hours.

it's the pre-valentine one. i think our next one will mostly just be a valentine.
but this one is filled with our new stuff.
if you want to see what's new and what's valentiney come on by and check it out.

you can find it here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

boulders, roots, distractions and ways of traveling.....

perhaps it really does happen that as you grow,
more and more things come up for you to look at.

in making the decision to face something that's been gettin'
in my way for years, it was as if i pulled up a whole tangle
of roots that needed to be looked at, untangled, and pruned.

when i had made the decision to face this something,
this something i endearingly have named 'the boulder,'
it was right around then that some shame surfaced.
and i knew this time i didn't want to just let that shame settle back into its comfy
spot to rise again whenever it felt like it.

i knew this time i wanted to take it on and deal with it.
i figured it would help me with the boulder.

so now i had the original boulder i wanted to face,
and a lump of shame sittin' in my hands.
before long, the boulder and the lump were showing me their
attachments to many roots buried way down deep.

as i was going thru some of it,
i got a pretty clear glimpse at how it was all connecting in my life.
and i swear, in all seriousness, i thought i was gonna throw up,
and then faint.

i'm laughing here.
what can i say??
not much of a warrior there, huh?
but i kept at it.

and i'm still at it.
and i have no idea where it's taking me.

i have decided that i'm gonna travel this as much as possible with my partner.
i've decided that it's thru another person that i'm gonna learn some stuff i need
to learn.

for me, this is monumental.
i have never wanted to include anyone in this close.

and i wanted to put that out for anyone else on the journey.
yeah, i'm lucky enough (and i don't take that lightly at all - i totally know how
lucky i am) to have a partner who's right beside me workin' with me.

but not everyone does.
so maybe that's where a counselor comes in.
cause i'm thinking it matters to have someone next to you.
next to you for real. walking thru it for real.
and counselors can be awesome for that kinda thing!

i would have said i could do this on my own before.
i'm a big believer in finding what you need inside you.
looking within and workin' on things yourself.
that's important.
but for me, a lot of this shame needs to be countered with my trust in
someone else. i'm not even sure what all i mean. i'm not sure what exactly
that's about. but i have a real strong sense, that i need to let my partner
right into the trenches here with me.

and no, that's not comfortable, it's incredibly vulnerable,
and really honestly something i'd prefer to skip - but it feels way important.

and i'm almost wondering -
maybe it's the act of doing that -
letting someone else in like this -
maybe that part is really what it's all about.

you know, like in a magic trick when you're lookin' at one thing
and something's happening somewhere else??

so here i am, i focus on the shame or the boulder or trying to untangle the roots.
but maybe that's just the distraction.

maybe i'm so busy focusing on this other stuff when
maybe all the answers i'm looking for will come  thru the act of
trusting someone so much so that i'll  share this part of the journey with them.

wouldn't that just be wild?

there's been a lotta hurt along the way that wants to stop me from doing just that.
but this time, there's something bigger than that hurt -
it's the desire to get beyond it.

and that's pushing me to new places.
for that alone, i gotta be grateful.

Friday, January 24, 2014


i was packing an order.
stopped to look at the print i was packing up.

i smiled.

all this shame talk -

i had to share this one -

'maybe being brave is no more than
staring down the 'less than' feeling
and stepping up to the 'i am worthy' feeling.

you can find it here - brave

one more snippet....

okay you guys.
i'm gonna give you another snipped outta the shame book i just got.

and then i'll stop. you'll need to buy it if you want more! :)

i just read this and thought 'everyone needs to hear this!' -

'Shame is never about the person being shamed. It is always about
the shamer's inability to respect an aspect of who they are shaming.
This sentence of profound truth is freedom. It encourages us to separate
ourselves from someone else's hurtful ideas so that we can feel confident
in our own identities. It reminds us that, in moments of shame, the shamer
is unable to listen to their own inner needs and pursue fulfilling them without
hurting themselves and others. In that same moment of shame, we too
have needs that require honesty and attention. Focusing on our needs and
what fulfills us, even in those moments, is how we lift the weight of shame
off of us. It is also how we start to create our own desired world.'

i'm still not that far into the book but am loving it.

i gotta say tho, i wanted to just read the little bit of the book i did and have
my shame just disappear. just like magic. poof. go away.

yeah, what can i say?
i'm real mature that way.

as you can guess, it didn't.
and i know....that's an okay thing.
cause what i learn along the way here is gonna be invaluable.
and yeah, as much as i grumble, i really do want to learn.

thanking cheryl for being a great teacher right now.

you can find her, her website and her book right here -
'healing through shame to wake up the love'

Thursday, January 23, 2014

cosmic timing

why does cosmic timing still surprise me?!

it happened again.
and just in thinking how much i needed it,
and how it came right to me, tears fill my eyes.

i had 'met' her briefly thru email.
and i could feel a grace about her right away.
i liked her.
when i went to check out what she was doing,
i knew i wanted to be spreading her around.
a lotta people who come thru bone sighs could use her work.

she worked with self hatred.

i didn't really think i had a self hatred thing goin' on.
i had seen people come thru who did.
and that was different than stuff i had felt.
but that's a tricky thing, isn't it?

there's no darn black and white.
we all have all kindsa pieces of stuff.

cause what's shame?
i'm not sure if you'd call shame self hatred or not.
but if you don't call them the same thing, you sure can link them together.

but i hadn't put that together yet.

i had just gotten to the point where i knew there were people
who needed her. and began plans to feature her with our website.

so then i have my big tidal wave of shame hit me the other day, right?
(see a few posts below)....and i knew......just knew.....i had to do
something with it. but just didn't know what! but i knew to go forward
the way i wanted - i had to do something.

and then as i was kinda stuck in a tangled ol' mess, not knowing
what to do - and feeling quite lost and hopeless -

this very woman's book arrives at my doorstep!!

she had gifted me a copy.

when i pulled it out of the envelope i gasped!
'Healing Through Shame to Wake Up the Love'

no kidding.
no darn kidding.

i knew the title before. had seen it on her site.
but forgot it.
when i read it i couldn't believe it.
and gasped and grabbed it like it was a life line.

and you know what?


i randomly opened the book and found something practical
i could do right away. i dropped her an email thanking her.
i love practical thinking that gives me tools to use.

but i had work to do - business work. i didn't have time to read it right then.
and yet, there was no way i wasn't gonna check it out more.

every cell in my body was screeching at me.
what was more important right now?

i made dinner and read it as i was cooking.
i sat down and ate and finished the first chapter.

underlining as i went.

i am so excited about this book i could just shout everywhere!

here's just one little snippet from the first chapter.
i'll be sharing more!

'Healing through shame involves having the courage to believe that
we are so much more than what we have been told about ourselves.
It is to come back into the realization that we truly are sacred beings
who have become temporarily overwhelmed by someone else's false
and hurtful expectations about what the world 'should' or 'shouldn't' be.
By remembering our own heritage, we have the opportunity to embrace
the individual beauty of our own heart and soul.'

something i love about her - she's not dwelling in the past.
i'm sure she could fill volumes of books with icky stories she's experienced.
but that's not where her focus is.
her focus is on healing and how to get there.

gosh, that in itself is a breath of fresh air.
and then to have someone who's worked thru all this and come up with
practical suggestions for the rest of us?

ohmygosh - treasure. gold. jackpot.

i am thrilled. and will be continuing to read and will definitely be spreading
cheryl and her book around as much as i can.

you can find her here.
along with her book.
i vote you buy it.
i'll be buying copies for gifts!

and here's the kicker - there's no way she's learned this the easy way.
i can't even imagine her journey to get to this point.

she's suffered.
and she's grown.
and she's offering what she's learned.

when i think of that bone sigh - 'she didn't just survive, she became.' i think
of women like cheryl. and i am so grateful for what they offer. and the grace
that they offer it with.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

and gosh!
while i'm shouting about new things!

come check out our two newest prints!

our new look!

i'm not sure i announced this over here!

and this is big news for me!
noah redid our home page!
and it looks so awesome!

come check it out!

puttin' it on the table

oh gosh.
can you say 'shame'???

we've all got it, right?

well, i had a nice big wave of it come over me.
shoot, i hate that stuff.

it was big.
it was intense.
and it was overwhelming.

and yeah, i know......
it needs looking at.

so, first thing i did was hide.
tried that.

that didn't work.

then i tried running.
that didn't work.

then i tried eating.
oh yes.
that didn't do much.

and so then i went to youtube.
typed in brene brown and shame.

i knew she was the queen of studying it.
figured i'd get some insights.

i've seen many of her vids.
and prolly have seen this one before but blocked it.
that would sound about right.
who could tell?

but i watched it. (again?)
it brought tears to my eyes.

she talks about how we need to be vulnerable and how we need
to have empathy.

so i'm puttin' it here on the table.
and i'm tryin' to be vulnerable with it.
and i guess i need to turn to empathy.
or is that compassion when it's turned to yourself?

self compassion?
self empathy?

whatever it is......i'm gonna try to turn to it.

i don't know how to get rid of it.
but i'm gonna try sittin' with some of it.

perhaps it's the only way to melt that boulder i was just talkin' about
that needs melting.

in fact, now that i think about it......
it can't just be a coincidence shame floods over me at the same time
i decide i need to melt a boulder in my path, can it?

i tell ya, this journey stuff is not for chickens.

and for those who are interested.....snuggle in with a warm drink and
watch brene's talk!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the choice is yours

i came up against something inside of me recently.
it felt like a big boulder.
a big boulder blocking my way to really living the life i want to live.

and i knew -
it's either time to do something about this.
or not.
and then live with the choice.

and i don't want that boulder there.

so i have to look at that.
decide that i mean that way past any level of just words.
and do something about it.

so that's been on my mind lately.

and as it always seems to work.
many conversations goin' on in my life touch on this very subject
and get me thinking more and more.

i was just having a conversation about regrets.
and i think i've honestly come to the point where yeah,
i still have some, but they don't carry anywhere near the weight they used to.
because i can see......i can really see......that all these things that i've experienced
have brought me to where i am now. i couldn't be here without them.

and i can see that the whole idea for me is to keep going forward.
to create the life i want. to open to a life even better than i can imagine.
to become more.

(i think it might be important to note that when i say 'even better than i can imagine'
i don't mean that there's a fancy car, a great house, everything perfect....i mean
full and real with me living love...that makes a difference with how you read this,
i think.)

i believe with my whole heart it is up to us to do what we want with our lives.

and that thought has touched in on multiple conversations goin' on around me
or with me.

don't nod and say 'yeah, but you're happy.'
or 'yeah, but you have it easier.'
'you can think like that because you don't know what it's like....'

don't do that.
because all of us carry weights and troubles and sorrows and sadness
and holes and scars and hauntings. all of us do.

all of us choose whether we're victims or creators in our own lives.

what are we gonna do with this whole pile of humaness that is our life?
what the heck do we do with the whole big mess of goodness and not goodness?

i got a boulder i gotta melt.
have no idea how.
but gonna do it anyway.

either i do.
or i don't.
the choice is mine.

Monday, January 20, 2014

courage and doin' what's right...

martin luther king day has got me thinking about courage.

i usually think about him, or his inspiring words,
i spose you can't think about him without thinking about courage.

but i don't know, today i'm stuck on all those people who
put themselves right out there to get hated, beaten, and even killed
to change something that needed changing.

i mean, it's really grabbed me.

their astounding courage.

i don't know as i would ever have that kinda courage.
i have thought that plenty of times.
when i read those stories, or see those things portrayed in
movies or documentaries, i'm always just so taken with the
strength in those people.

today, it's just magnified a bit in my mind, i think.
and that's one of the things i really want to hold and honor.

the few times in my life i've shown what looking back seems like courage,
i didn't find it courageous at the time.

i was completely scared, but gonna do what i had to.
i was focused.

multiply that by 1,000 and you get what those people who changed our
world musta been feeling.

i'm also thinking about the oppressors today.

the only way i can really do that is by taking the people in my life
who have felt like oppressors to me. then i can grab some of the
attributes and kinda look at them a bit.

do oppressors know they are oppressors?
or do they have it twisted, justified and righteous in their own minds.

i'm guessin' they don't know and they've got it righteous.
(more often than not)
that's been what i've seen anyway.

all this time i've thought about how great it is that african american people
finally started a road to freedom. a long one, indeed, but started one!

this is the first time i'm ever thanking dr. king for freeing the oppressors.
or at least......making it so they could be free if they wanted to.

it is by us standing up for what is right and what is good and what is love
that we give everyone the space to do the same.

oppressors included.

what they choose is up to them.
but the door has been opened.

i wonder how many of them found freedom?

Friday, January 17, 2014


reading a conversation yesterday,
a memory came into my mind.

it had to do with the incredible power that lives inside kindness.
i've blogged about it before.
but it bears repeating.

it was one of those life moments.

i was fairly early into the relationship with my guy.
long enough, but not too long.....
he got very ill and ended up in the hospital.
it was all a mystery. we never did find out what was going on.

but at the time, i honestly didn't know if he was going to pull thru or not.
i really wasn't sure if we'd lose him to some strange illness.
i was scared and worried.

he had two sons, i had three.
bone sighs were in the early stages.
and there i was travelin' to the hospital and back tryin'
to juggle everything and with each drive tryin' to figure out
how to handle each day.

i brought my work with me, because it wasn't like you could take a day off.
you didn't do the work, you didn't make any money. i would do the work while
he slept or had millions of tests done to him.

i was homeschooling at the time. and trying hard to keep that going.
i was tryin' to keep an eye on his kids and work with their mom.

the stress was monumental.
it went on for a few days, but i swear, it felt like years.

i remember one day where something happened to me.
i don't know how.
i don't know why.

i would like to stress that it seemed to come from something besides me.
i didn't really have anything to do with it.
that seems way important to me.

somehow i stepped outta the stress and into kindness.
it was as if i stepped into some kinda cloud.
everywhere i turned, i was kind.
i mean, really kind.
and i would hear myself, and i would wonder where it came from.

not that i can't be kind. but it wasn't exactly my best days.
there was a ton of pressure, and there were more than a few things
i could have been less than kind about.

but when those things surfaced that i would normally want to snap about,
something happened. and this compassionate kindness would come out of me.

not towards him. i never felt snappy towards him. that's not what i mean.
but other people pushing too hard against me, or making things tougher than
they needed to be. that kinda thing.

the finale for me was when i was leaving that nite. i really wanted to get home.
so much to do, check on all the boys. get ready for the next day. you name it,
i needed to do it.

on my way out, i passed a super stressed young mom with her
baby. her baby had a tiny tiny thread around his finger and it was
cutting off his circulation. and she couldn't get it off without hurting him.
she was distraught and headed to the emergency room.

i saw her stress and stopped to help her.
i knew she needed someone with her.
i didn't hesitate.
i stayed with her in the emergency room until she was seen by a doctor.
i pushed to get her seen faster. and i hung nearby her and reassured her.
when she went in for help, i left.

as i headed home, it was like i was in some kinda light.
it was something that totally amazed me.
and that day, that moment, i had an understanding of kindness that i've never
experienced before or since.

i understood that kindness was a force all in itself.
i understood that kindness was holiness.
and i understood it was life altering to live in it.

unfortunately, life got back to normal, and so did i.
yes i'm still kind. but it's different. it's not like i step into it like it's a cloud around me.
it's not like it is beyond me and coming from somewhere else.

and when i saw the conversation about kindness, i remembered that.
i wanted to write about it again.
i wanted to jog my memory and yours.

because i believe we don't know enough about real kindness.
i believe it's a mystery that we need to touch and taste more of.
i believe it's so much deeper than we realize.
i believe we touch the surfaces of it and think that's it.

and i believe we need to pay more attention to it.

i made this card after that. it's an odd card. i mean, seriously, who do you send
this to? but i had to make it. because i was so overwhelmed with it all. i'm pulling
it out today and setting it in front of me. i want to remember. and i want to learn
all over again....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

taken aback...

i don't think i've ever blogged about a tv show before.
i'm not much of a tv person.
don't even own one.

but i have joined in the downton abbey craze.
it's been kinda fun to join in on that.
i'm never in with the craze of a show, and even that has been fun.
i absolutely adore the grandmother in the series
and want to be like her when i'm old.

i watch the richness and wonder at it.
i watch the lifestyles and just try to imagine what it all would be like.
i love the big trees. they're SO big!
i can't exactly figure out why anyone would fall in love with the daughters...
but i like their clothes. i love to look at the styles.

it's a complete escape from real life for me,
and i've enjoyed it.

until now.
until the rape scene.

i didn't see it coming, didn't expect it, and was horrified by it.

i kept thinking of all the people i know who've experienced rape.
i was horrified for them if they were watching and didn't see it coming either.

i got on line to see if there was anything that could make me feel differently
than i did. i read where they said they were trying to tackle a difficult problem.

and i just couldn't buy it.

that doesn't feel right to me.
it feels to me that it was a 'great' plot twist for them.

i like to think that under any circumstances, that wouldn't fly with me.
that i would be upset by the cheapness of it.

but i absolutely know that because of what i do and the stories i hear
every day from women who've endured horrendous sexual abuse,
i can't be okay with what they did. that if portrayed, it needs to be more
than a darn plot twist. it's too heavy a topic, to serious an issue, to
raw a wound to just 'use.'

and that the show just ended for me.

sexual abuse of any kind is so complicated.
i totally totally want us to be talking about it.
i want people to come forth and tell their stories and find out that
they really aren't alone. i believe dialog will help. i want awareness to
be raised and raised and raised. i'm even okay with it being portrayed
on a tv show IF there's some real intent behind it. get the dialog rolling.
let's air out the wounds in a healthy way.

at the same time - i don't want it to be used cheaply.
which i feel it was.
someone said it so beautifully in a comment they left in the string of
comments on fb yesterday -
they talked of true healing happening in the context of light and love.

and what just happened saddened me and reminded me once again
that life is choices. and i need to fill my time with something better.

after writing this, a friend posted a link on the bone sigh arts facebook
page where i brought up this topic. i thought it was a wonderful
piece and wanted to share -

'rape on tv- more than just a plot twist'

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

holy can be found in the strangest places...

one of the best things i've done in the past year
is hang up that lighted star in my back yard.

if you were with me back in november,
you might recall i hung up a star outside in honor of someone
i loved who passed.

it's battery operated and lights up the same time every nite
and stays lit for hours. then turns itself off.

well, i cannot even begin to express the amount of times
i have seen that thing glowin' in the dark and been reminded
of the gift of life!

how can someone see that every nite and yet still forget
it's there and be surprised and delighted each time?
i have no idea, but that would be me!

i moved it several times, finally settling on hanging it from
a pine branch that i can see from my kitchen window.
i debated as i have to lean way far over to see it from my
office window....and that's kinda where i thought i wanted
to see it from. but i tried it in this other spot anyway,
and that's where it's been.

turns out perfect because when i walk in and out of my house,
i see it right thru the window. when i walk out back, i walk
right under it, and it feels so significant - i know it sounds crazy,
but it almost feels holy when i stand under it.  when i eat dinner
i see it. and when i got to bed i see it.

and i cannot see that thing without stopping and taking a breath.
i always think of the person i lost. every single time. it's in a warm
kinda way that feels good. and life for me gets put in perspective
every time i see that glow.

which is kinda helpful in those times that are less than happy and fun.

last nite i stopped and just looked at it.
glowing there in the dark.
i stood there with it a few moments and thought about how hanging
that was one of the best things i've ever done.

i think it'll stay up for another month, maybe two...when the light starts
changing again -but then it'll get packed away to pull out again for the
anniversary of that sad sad day we lost her.

i'm thinking this might be a cool remembering gift to give to people.
it certainly has affected me.
i think softened me a bit too in a place i needed softening....

all from a plastic star with a battery attached to it.
go figure.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

she's not talkin' valentines already, is she?!

a quick little conversation on facebook yesterday inspired this blog.
i'm sure i have already posted about this, 
but i'm thinking this is definitely a yearly must for me.

it's about valentine's day!

valentine's day?? you ask.

well, you see, since i ship my valentines to shops to sell for that day,
i've got to be earlier than most when it comes to thinking about the holiday.

i try to create new valentines each year, so between creating them, 
getting them printed, 
then shipping them,
i'm a valentine early bird.

which can be fun as it gets me in the mood.

as i was packing valentines up for a shop the other day, i smiled and thought
of the fun i want to have spreading some love around.

and for me, THAT is what valentine's day is about.
it's about spreading love to those special people in my life.

and i gotta tell ya,
the year i figured this out, the holiday changed for me forever.

i used to hate it like so many other people.
oh gosh, i remember the teen years hoping so-and-so would give me a valentine,
and of course, he didn't. and then all the variations of that very icky feeling
of hoping someone would love me the way i wanted to be loved....
no expectations there, huh?

valentine's day was pretty much yuck.

and then! i started doing things -
like running around my neighborhood the years i lived in a town house
and taping hearts all over my different neighbor's doors. i did it secretly
so they never knew til they walked outside! and what fun it was
to try to do that secretly in a town home community! or  of making home made
 'love jars' for friends filling them with notes of things i loved about them,
or of shoveling snow for my neighbors in my neighborhood who were having 
back troubles or were single women on their own, or of slipping baked goods 
on porches with notes that said 'you matter.'

in short?
i learned valentine's day wasn't about me getting love.
it was about me GIVING love.

and that's when the holiday changed forever.

if you look at my valentines that i offer,
you'll see they cover everything from self love, to love of friends,
to love of partners of any kind, to love of people who have passed,
to love of living fully.

they celebrate love. they celebrate the joy of living.
because for me, that's what the holiday is about.

and so i wanted to post that because i can feel the 'getting carried away' feeling
bubbling up in me. i want to share the valentines, i want to get all revved up,
i want to dig out my heart lights and think about decorating.....and i figure maybe
this will keep people from pummeling me. 

want to see some of the valentines?

Monday, January 13, 2014

choosing the laughter

i was so completely fried by friday nite.
maybe that's why the call it friday nite!
if you work hard  all week, forget it, you'll be fried!

i had worked my rear end off.
was ready for a weekend of nothing.

and that so makes me laugh typing that out.
like where the heck is my head sometimes?
maybe i was READY for a weekend of nothing,
but my weekends are RARELY filled with nothing.
there are so many emotions jammed packed in a few days.

and this weekend was no exception.

so many different kinds of emotions,
so many different kinds of moments.

where do i start? i wondered as i sat down to blog.
which thing do i pick out and concentrate on?

why the laughter, of course.

the laughter.

cause as i sat back and thought of all that i had experienced,
i realized the best moments were some close moments with my guy,
and some funny moments with all my guys.

and this good feeling just swept over me.
not all the stuff this weekend was good.
some of it was hard, frustrating, hurt filled, all that gunk.

but the best moments?
the love and the laughter.

and those things can totally outshadow the other.

so there we were, laughing hysterically as a group.
i had reacted to a scene in a movie.
it was unexpected, jolted me, and i had screamed
and unwittingly threw my drink up in the air.
which ended up all over me and the couch.

no one was sure this movie was gonna be a good fit for me to begin with.
and here we were, maybe seven minutes in, and i was already
throwing my drink in the air.

this brought on hysterical laughing that can only happen when
you're in the company of those you love and those who know you best.

relaying it later to josh, who had been absent, we heartily laughed
all over again. he commented that he could just picture it and felt like
he had been there. and we laughed some more.

and that was it.
that's what i wanted to blog about.

laughing til i cried.
and loving who i was laughing with.

because, you see, it's not an isolated event.
it happened because of the life i have shared with these people.
it happened because of all we've been thru.

and that is something i hold way way dear.
and pulls me back into a place of gratitude,
when i forget sometimes and start to get lost in the gunk of the world.

we need more of it!

Friday, January 10, 2014

a great line

'be true to who you are.'

it's a sentence i bumped into somewhere along the way this week.

i wrote it down on my chalkboard.

my chalkboard hangs right by where i work.
every week i write a thought on it.
something i want to hold and keep in my mind.

this week when i read that sentence,
i knew that was the thought i wanted to hold.

'be true to who you are.'

gosh that's packed full.

who are you really?
what do you think you are?

unfortunately, i meet a lotta people who have a hard time liking themselves.
so this might not work so great for them.
altho, if that's the case, i would encourage them to look really really deep.
to dig until they found the light in themselves.

i believe in my light.
i do.
i just forget about it a lot.
or i get sidetracked from it.
or i get tired and look in another direction.

and i know i do a lot better when i'm aware of it
and when i'm true to it.

all week i saw that line, and all week i nodded and brought that
thought back to the front of my mind.

it's definitely made a difference.

this silly chalkboard is workin' wonders for me........

Thursday, January 9, 2014


i've been watching different scenarios where 'entitlement' seems to come into play.

where someone has hardships that are really truly hard,
and yeah, rank really high up there on the scale of challenges,
and they forget themselves,
or.....actually.........maybe that's the problem......
they can't forget themselves.
they can't get out of themselves.
and their entire world revolves around them and their hardships.
and they fall into the pit of entitlement.
and somehow they figure they have the right to mistreat people.

we've all done it.
it's incredibly human.
and it totally sucks to be around.

i've been watching this with different people, different moments.
some leaving quickly, some sticking around persistently.

and i saw something happening to me in reaction to one of the lingering
entitlement moods that was being aimed at me....
and i found it really interesting.

i've tried everything i can to keep the waters calm,
to soothe things down, to avoid what i can, and to just try to
make it all okay.

sensing that an outburst was right around the corner,
i thought about it all a bit.......
and i found someone inside me......
i did.
somewhere inside me there has been a kid who is trying
hard not to get into trouble.

it was really cool to see.
and i got to thinking about that.
and i got to thinking about how i wasn't a kid.
and there wasn't any trouble here for me to get into.
and how i was an adult with my own life and my own choices
and i wasn't someone else's anything.
and i didn't deserve what i had been getting.

and i smiled.
and i realized what that meant.

it was time to make that 'trouble.'
it was time to say stop.
it was time to call them on it.'s not time yet.
it is time the next time i'm mistreated.

and i will.
i'll call them on it.
and say stop.

and as i thought about this, i knew i would.
i knew it would be uncomfortable, but also feel very very right.

and i realized how their behavior towards me gives me the chance
to treat myself right.

should i say that again?

their behavior towards me gives me the chance to treat myself right.


and what a wonderful non-victim, non-kid realization to have.

now watch.
i'm all set to go and do this.
and she'll settle in and be a grateful angel to me.

and you know what? i can't lose either way.

we always have the power to create how we're treated.
i need to remember that.

and while i always want to keep the child like wonder,
i don't ever need to keep the child like cowering.

and always always i gotta remember to step outta the entitlement phase
the moment i realize i've wandered into it!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

would you fight for it?

i'm grinnin' as i type this 'cause i'm thinking of my friend when she sees it.
she'll know it's about her.
and yeah, friend, you inspired this one.....

it was the anniversary of a moment in her life where she came really close to dying.
she had to fight with all she had to make it thru, to stay here, and to come back
to the land of the living.

we exchanged just a couple notes about it and she commented on how hard
she fought to stay here.

that kinda caught my attention.

i think because she said something about it being odd that she would,
given some of her personal struggles. you might guess she wouldn't want to
fight for it so hard.

i think that's what did it.....
whatever did it, it caught me and later as i ate my dinner i thought about that.

what if it was you, terri?
what if you had to fight to stay alive?
to stay here?
would you fight?
oh yeah.
i know i would.

so why?

why would you?
what is it you're fighting for?

i asked her that at first.
and then i asked myself that.

and now i want to ask you that as well.......

would you fight?
if yes, why?

i was quite intrigued with the train of thought this took me on.
of the list of reasons.
of the things i wanted to do.

interestingly enough, there were more than one thing i 'wanted to get right'
before i finished up.

i liked that.
and i guess i really didn't realize that before.
well, in such a clear way anyway.
and it gave me a new perspective.
a fresh one.
yet another thing that feels really good to take into the new year.

so i wanted to offer it here for you to think about.
honestly, spend a few moments answering that
and see where it leads you.

if you say something like 'i want to stay for my kids.'
then keep going deeper. ask yourself 'why? what about that?'

'i want to stay because of my loved ones.'
why? what about that?

'i want to stay to offer my gifts to the world.'
why? what about that?

the more you look, the more you see.

i didn't even know my friend at the time this happened to her.
and now, because of her story,
she's helping me create mine.

it's just too darn awesome sometimes.

toastin' hers.
toastin' mine.
toastin' yours.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

the not so little things

yesterday was a caffeinated day for sure.

i had more than i could possibly do.
deadlines i was trying to make.
and was totally over my head every way i turned.

but it felt good.
sometimes the craze makes me feel alive.

we're sposed to have a record cold day today.
wicked cold for us.

as i heard the wind picking up last nite,
i prayed my trees would stay standing and
nothing at all would land on my house.

i prayed the pipes would stay solid
and i promised the universe i would learn all i need to learn
about valves and shut offs and pipe warmers.
that i really didn't need to learn the hard way.
that i was a willing student and could learn under good circumstances.
and i swore an oath to trim my trees at the first possible chance.
just please.......leave everything in tact. 

i called my elderly neighbor, checked in with my sons,
and got dramatic with my guy.

the cold was coming.

funny how the smallest things can add such a touch to an already crazed day.

and there's something about that that just totally delights me.

it occurred to me to set up a work station by the fire.
get away from the computer, concentrate, and work where it was warm.

and suddenly, doing numbers and my books went from dread to delight. 

'let's see.' i said out loud to myself. 'i'll need an extension cord,
the adding machine, oh. and snacks!'

and i cackled with delight.
yes. LOTS of snacks.

it felt a little bit like those magic snow days you get when you're a kid.

just a little bit different but still with a touch of excitement, and the tingle of being alive.

it doesn't take much, does it?
and THAT is maybe one of the things i love most about being alive.
the delight in the little things.

here's to warm fires to cozy in by,
for loved ones to check in with,
for trees standing where they are rooted,
and pipes staying in one piece with water flowing freely.

hmmmmmmmmm guess those really aren't such little things, are they??

here's to the great glory of huge gifts that surround us every single day!

Monday, January 6, 2014


i watched a movie over the weekend that was unbelievable.
it was the story of two guys who were doin' the impossible mountain climb,
and sure enough, they just about died.......

one broke his leg and the story of him making his way back is just incredible.

honestly, i think he was one of the few people who could have made it.
i'm not so sure too many others would have.

here's the thing that i thought was really awesome and something i wanted
to take away from it.....

he was faced with the impossible.

(he makes my impossibles look like pieces of cake!)

and what he did at one point was he divided it all into 20 min. segments.
he made goals.....i'm gonna get over to that spot in the next 20 min.
and he'd time himself.

and if he made it before 20 min, he felt great, and if he made it
in more than 20 min, he felt like he should have done it better, or something
like that. and over and over and over and over and over and over and over
again that guy set his goals. and he lived for each goal. he did his best
for each time.

and we're talking things none of us ever want to live thru.

so i'm thinking about my little impossible things.
and how the 20 min. goal seems like an awesome idea.
or maybe not 20 min.
but you get the idea -
little snippets of time you can deal with.
where it's not so overwhelming.

i believe my dad used to call this the 'salami technique'.......
where you slice the big sausage in front of you into slices you can
deal with.

i wish he coulda seen this movie. it woulda amazed him at the
salami technique in action!

i keep thinking about it......
and keep thinking it's another great thing to take into the new year.......
the entire movie just made a huge impression on me.
the guy who survived would prolly roll his eyes to think that's what i took
away from it.......but that was the PRACTICAL thing i took....
wanted to share.......

Friday, January 3, 2014

it's the journey journey journey journey journey journey

nothing like starting off the new year with something important in your life
just not goin' how you want it to.

anyone relate?

so there i am trying to fix it and make it all okay.
cause really - i just want my life to be all okay.

uh huh.

and it's the new year, right? i want to start it all of in really good shape with stuff.

uh huh.

like what planet am i from?
have i EVER had it ALL okay and have i EVER started the new year in
really good shape with stuff?

like isn't that the point, terri??
isn't that what you sit with every year -
the fresh start, diggin' in and workin' hard to make things better?

oh yeah.

but there's another point.
one i already mentioned here a few days ago and took ohhhhhh about
24 hours to forget completely.

but then, on the treadmill walkin' out a ton of frustration -
i heard a voice.

'it's the journey.'


i turned my head towards the little voice and said 'say what?
knowing darn well what it said, but wanting to hear it again.

'it's the journey, goose.
it's the journey.
you're getting lost in the destination.'

and i swear, i could feel the weight lift right off.

i really really get hung up in the end results.
and it is a completely different way of looking at things if you just know -
it's the journey that counts.

isn't that what i wrote after every single resolution i made??

oh yeah.
maybe it'd be good to actually remember these things.
thank goodness i've got that little voice that helps me when i forget!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

new year's identities!

got into a great conversation with my sons that ended up being something
to take into our thinking about the coming new year.

we were talking about 'identities.'
everyone's got 'em. you know.....what you think of yourself as -
mother, sister, daughter, wife, artist, buddhist, yoga master,
healer, boxer, great driver, fast thinker........

and we all have multiple identities.
and interestingly enough, they don't have to be all good.
which caught me by surprise til i thought about that.

of course!
you can be a slow learner, a bad cook, a messy housekeeper,
a gardener with a black thumb.......

so we were talking about these.
and what we thought ours were.
that in itself is a great topic.

and then we talked about what identities we would LIKE to have, but don't.

ooooooohhh. that's a cool question.

and we all agreed that we could pick an identity if we wanted to,
and work towards it during the year.

is that not a great idea?!

i thought it was an interesting twist on new year's resolutions!
how about new year's identities!

what are the ones you carry now?
which ones would you like to enhance?
which ones would you like to put down?
and which ones would you like to pick up?

could be fun!
thought it was perfect timing to offer the thought......