Wednesday, July 31, 2013


so a news story got me thinking of what i call 'scales.'

you may call them something different, but i'm betting we're all familiar
with them.

i've even named mine before after the person they get used on.

for example - you know someone named sam.
sam's a fine enough person, but a bit of a social dweeb.
doesn't know when to leave, doesn't know when to pitch in,
doesn't know when to express appreciation.
that kinda thing.

sam comes over one day, eats dinner, puts his dish in the sink, doesn't do anyone else's,
but actually manages to put his in the sink, maybe even washes it, and for the first time ever,
thanks you for the dinner saying it was delicious and he appreciates it, then sits down again
and doesn't move.

someone later asks you how it went with sam.
you say 'wow, sam was incredible.'
and they say 'incredible? incredible for anyone or incredible for sam?'

oh. definitely for sam.

there's a sam scale.
what sam did was the minimum that anyone else would do,
but for sam, it was amazing because he never did that before.

the sam scale.

sound familiar?

so i read a news story, and rolled my eyes.
there was definitely a different scale for this person.
they did something that was getting praised.
what they did was the minimum of minimum, but it was unusual, so it was taken as great.
if my girlfriend did the same thing, which she has a million times,
i wouldn't think twice about it.
but this guy had a different scale.

i brought this up over dinner with my guy.
he didn't blink and instead of saying scales he said 'expectations'

i stopped chewing and thought about that.
'you think it's the same thing?' i asked.

yep, he did.

and then he went on to show me how we all had different expectations with
different people. he pointed out how i wouldn't go to this one and expect the
same kinda conversation i had with this one here. if this one treated me the
same way as this one over there, i'd never go visit her again, but it's okay
coming from that one. that kinda thing.

hmmmm....this got me thinking.

i'm still not completely convinced they're the same thing.
but then again....they absolutely could be.
it's close enough that i'm not sure i care.
i think what i care about is the idea that i'm lookin' at each different person
with different scales/expectations.

we talked about that for a bit and how that limited our truly seeing.
cause we kinda go in with a view already. we go in expecting certain things.
when you do that, you put on filters.

not sure what to do with that.
but i'm gonna start by looking at the different scales i have all around me.
and maybe figure out why they're different and if i'm okay with that......

i knew i used scales for some people.
i don't think i ever stopped to see i use them for everyone.
maybe it's something you have to do to interact.
maybe it's a necessary thing.
but then, i should at least know i do this.
and i'm thinking kinda keeping an eye on them would be a good idea.

should be an interesting day ahead...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

self compassion

i wonder why self compassion is such a new thing for me.
it doesn't seem as if it should be as foreign a concept as it is.
i mean seriously, i  don't know anyone who just has that just
naturally come to them....and that seems like such a shame.

but at last i'm starting to step into it more and more.
i guess i need to be grateful for that.

i was thinking about my life and the things that had happened in it
and the things i wished i had done differently.

and then, instead of beating myself up about it all,
i stopped and said 'look where you were with that. look at what you
were feeling and the place you were in.'

and when i did, i could honestly feel compassion for myself.
do you need some sort of understanding to have compassion?
i'm thinking you must.
and what a good good feeling to allow yourself understanding of
your actions.

to not have to judge, punish or shame yourself.
to just allow yourself understanding.
it is a space that compassion seems to easily flow into.

well, then, i decided to run with it all.
or maybe actually drive with it all.
i took a drive and decided to go thru my life and let some of the
times i felt shame or 'being bad' come up and just see if i could
understand what was going on with me at the time.

sure enough, those moments came right up easily. starting from way young
all the way up to now.

each time i allowed myself understanding of my actions.
and each time i could feel a deep sense of gratitude for that.
part of me was thankful the other part understood.

how totally crazy is that?! but that's what it felt like.
and it felt healing.

ah, so much unnecessary baggage....if we could only see who we are
and understand that who we are is really really okay.

Monday, July 29, 2013

our weekly tidbit...

i just shouldn't pick up my mark nepo books,
because then i want to type out the whole book here to share.
honestly, i restrain myself a lot....
but sometimes i just gotta....

this is from his book 'unlearning back to god' -

'I realized that whether it be our search for purpose, our struggle with confusion,
or our working through grief, or the violent evolution of our identity, no one
can go beyond the glass door with you. Each of us must do that work alone. Each
of us must ask our questions and feel our pain and be surprised by wonder in the
very personal terrain that exists beyond that glass door. The best we can do in
loving others is wheel each other as far a possible and be there when our loved ones
return. But the work that changes our very lives - the work that yields inner
transformation, the work that allows us to be reborn with the same skin - must
always be done alone. This work of solitude and the attending to and from the
glass door is the work of compassion, and the sharing of what we each discover
in our solitude is the work of education, and the wisdom by which we weave that
inner knowledge and that compassion - this is the work of community.

Whether walking a loved one into surgery or investigating the spiritual formation
of teachers, we need both solitude and community to enliven our compassion.
For only both paths - innner and outer - can yield the miracle of the Whole.'

i loved this part for a lot of reasons. just his way of putting it touches me so
perfectly. but i chose to include it here because of the reassurance of the value
of being alone and knowing that there are some things our loved ones must do alone
as well.

i think we forget the value of solitude. we get scared of it. and that's one reason
i love what he wrote here.

it's such an intricate dance of flying solo and walking in community, and working
closely one on one with another. keeping the trust in the different parts seems really
important. and so i wanted to share.

Friday, July 26, 2013

thinking on the filters...

i got into a conversation with that best friend of mine.
it was one of those great conversations that had its roots in
many past talks we've had. so we could grab pieces from those roots
and both know what we were talking about, which is always cool.
there was history and understanding mixed in with some new stuff.
i love that combination! that is one of the best things about a long term
relationship - conversations like that happen.

and it all kinda curled into me and made me wonder about the things
that drive us. the filters we walk around with and look thru. the traumas
and wounds and scars that color our perspectives. the ways we skew
things and don't even know it. nothing new. just a renewed sense of
wanting to understand when i do that and how it affects what i do.

in seeing others do it, i got to wondering big time about myself.
about how often i skewed my understanding of things because of my
buttons, issues, and scars. we all do it.we've got to. it's part of being
human. but how often? and how much do we even know we do it?
and how much does it really color what's goin' on in our lives?

there is no one more aware of how i do this, besides myself,
than that best friend of mine i was talking to.

i looked at him.
i thought of all we'd been thru together.
i thought of the times where i fought myself hard to finally see how
i was bringing my baggage into 'us' and how i had to claim it and own it
or slowly kill us.
i thought of the times where i couldn't see it and he'd try so hard to get me to see.
and because of my trust in him, mostly he'd get thru to me sooner or later.

i wanted to apologize to him.
for all the struggles i had brought us because of my own filters.

and yet i realized...that's what we're doin' together.
we're helpin each other with that stuff.
we're learning how to clean the lenses, drop the baggage, see more clearly.
that's some of our main work together.
my lenses. his lenses.

and an apology just didn't seem right.
it's us we're bringing to each other.
and it's us we're healing together.

i touched his face.
what an incredible thing we're doin' together.

and yet, how do we ever really heal this, i wondered?
how do we ever really see clearly and honestly without the filters?

how on earth do we get past the filters??

i was just filled with the 'how?!' last nite.

not sure we can.
all the way.
but i know we can make progress.
and i'm pretty sure we really need each other to make that progress.
we need the mirrors, and the trusting in what they see when we can't.
and the ability to listen.
we need that stuff.

it matters.
it's not really living when we can't really see.
and i'm watching that all around me, and in my own life....
we get so sure we have the answers...
and i'm thinking that's prolly the times when we are least likely to have them.
cause it seems to me that's when we stop listening and that's when we
put those filters to work big time.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


i can usually tell when i'm onto something if the opposites show up for me.
and i'm thinking they're here again.

i've been all into the 'making space' idea...
in conversations, in relationships, in life.
it's been just whirling inside of me.

i'm thinking just watching and allowing has a lot to do with the making space stuff.
and i've been trying to do a lot of that - just general, wide view watching.

and then i got to thinking about 'focusing.'

there's something really good in my life that i'd like to focus on.
pay attention to it, nurture it, and just plain focus on it.
actually intentionally do that.

yeah, but....

what about all the making space stuff??

here we go again.
it's never just really plain ol' one way or another, is it?

i toyed with the idea all day.
the more i mulled, the more i wanted to do it - focus on it.

so in the evening i sat down trying to untangle how to focus on something while
still making tons of space for it. how to pay attention and nurture without creating
expectations and shuttin' down the room for it to just be.

honestly, that could apply into any part of my life at all - business, kids, relationship,
friendships, just living.

and the thing that seemed to keep repeating itself over and over was gratitude.
focus on something with gratitude!
and see if that keeps the space open.

i'm kinda thinking it will.

it's kinda like cooking -
it really all depends on the ingredients you use -
gratitude's the spice.
or the meat.
or the really cool flavored oil....

whatever it is, it gives a really good flavor!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

oh for pete's sake

oh you know how it goes.
it was one of those heartfelt moments with a friend,
where you lean close to tell them something,
you say it softly and gently,
and you know you're speaking the truth...
and then you realize YOU need to hear it just as much as they do,
if not more!

it's like you're hearing it for the first time.
and you know you need to pay attention.
you know you need this thought.

it was one of those moments.

there i was so seriously, sincerely, quietly and gently saying -
'if you didn't push, if you just made space to let it happen,
you'd get what you want. it would come to you.'

'you don't need to push to make it happen. in fact, your pushing
is pushing it right away.'

oh for pete's sakes.

i mumbled something about i needed to hear that too, and i did the
same thing....but since it wasn't really all about me at the moment,
i kept the whole huge impact the statement was having on me mostly
to myself.

but it was totally hitting me.
oh for pete's sakes.

i know i do this kinda thing in my relationship with my partner.
i've seen myself do that before.
and i've seen my pushing push what i was looking for right outta my reach.

and what about ALL of my life??
ALL of it???

what am i pushing for so hard and not making space for?
what am i pushing right out of my life??

what if i just knew i had what i wanted already and let things come.
isn't that really the basis of all that 'secret' stuff that was all the rage
a few years ago???

maybe some of it is finally sinking in.

not sure.

but i have been leaning back all week...just watching,
and mostly enjoying.

what a novel idea.
throw a little knowing in there with a nice blend of peace
and well.......i do believe there'd be some extra room in my life!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

holding light

shoutin' out about this again, in case you missed it.....

we've got a holding light thing goin' on over on our website...
it's free, and personally, i think it's so way cool.

come on over and check it out!

a moment to honor

there are so many moments when i wonder what the heck i'm doin'.
there are so many moments self doubt zips on in and takes over.
there are so many moments that i'm lost and insecure.

and THEN.....
every now and again......
every once in awhile.......

i know....without one smidgen of a speck of dust of doubt
that i'm living how i want to live and going in the direction i truly want to travel.

i know in my depths that i wouldn't change a thing.

those moments are rare.
but when they hit, they hit so deep the world stands still.

i've only had these a handful of times.
but each time is SUCH a moment.

i'm pausing in the long string of blogs that are filled with searching
and being lost and wondering and mulling to slip in one tiny little blog
that feels so huge to me, that for this moment, i'm not searching.
i'm just standing in a puddle of awesomeness and soaking in every drop.

i don't care if i have to budget my heart out for the rest of my life.
i don't care if i land in those spots of self doubt over and over again.
i don't care if it feels really hard sometimes.
cause i know......for this moment i really know....that none of that matters.

maybe those are the moments that keep us goin' in all the other moments.

i figured it was something to stop and honor.
and i understand it will be a knowing that leaves and all the other stuff will
slip in and take its place...and i also know that's how it works, and that's okay.

i saw this quote on my printer.....
figure it fits this morning. i think it's from buddah -

'in the end what matters most is
how well did you live
how well did you love
how well did you learn to let go.'

Monday, July 22, 2013

real feel take two...conversations

the whole 'real feel' thing with the weather got me thinking.

to be honest, it drives me nuts.
it's hot, leave me alone.
don't tell me it's gonna feel like 200 degrees today.
don't tell me when it's cold that i'm gonna feel even colder.
just don't do it.
but then i got to thinking about it and playing with it....
what if we used 'real feel' all thru life?!
i IS incredibly descriptive.
i've been having some fun with it on facebook and decided to bring it over
to a blog series i hope to keep slipping in here now and again....called....what else???
'real feel'

you are looking forward to the conversations ahead, you want to share,
listen and connect. by the time the conversations have finished you know you'll
feel close and connected and more of who you want to be.

real feel??? ------  glad that's over with. what's there to eat?!

ahhh, the art of often does it leave us empty,
looking for something else to fill us? how often do we really look at it
and try to figure out how to make it better?
i'm pretty darn sure not enough.
i know i need to look at it a ton more than i do.

in talking with my partner about communicating, we took a conversation
we had shared earlier that day and asked each other what we each got out of it,
what we had meant to convey, what we felt as it was taking place.

guess what?
neither of us had a clue as to what was going on with the other person.

'you're kidding?'
'um, i missed that.'

there are volumes that can be written about the things we saw as we took it all
apart, but one of the things that stood out the most for me was the idea of
'making space' for the conversation to bring us to the things that really mattered.

we ended up getting bogged down in details that stifled us, and limited the directions
and depths we could have gone in, and actually kept us from really seeing each other.

so we began to talk about 'making space.'

as we talked, i realized that i actually learned a ton of making space techniques from
my very practical, straightforward father. 

he didn't like small talk. thought it was a waste of time. and so if you talked about
something, that's what he wanted to talk about. that something. he didn't want to hear
roundabout stories about it, he didn't want to hear tangents that kinda related to it,
he wanted to talk about whatever 'it' was.

and so he'd guide the person he was speaking to back to 'it.'
over and over again.
and he'd work on bringing the root of 'it' out in the light so what was being talked
about could really be looked at.

so....if i'm talking to a girlfriend and she's having trouble with her partner. she may
say 'he drives me crazy, i absolutely hate it when he brings his tools in the kitchen and
leaves them all over the table. it's getting so bad, i just want to leave him sometimes.'

learning to identify the 'it' is the first thing to be done.
so we sit and i might say 'so is it that you don't feel like he respects you when he does this?'
and if that isn't quite it, we'd guess around til we found it.

and she might answer 'yeah, i hate it when he does that. you shoulda seen what he did
saturday.....' and off she'll go on saturday's story. and so the idea would be to bring it
back to 'okay, so again, it really seems to be the lack of respect you feel.' and we'd try
to start looking at that and concentrating on that part of the deal.

we're human.
and we're emotional.
so we're gonna get sidetracked into all the stories and tangents.
but they end up being space eaters.
they limit us, stifle us, and bring us nowhere.

it's the bigger picture....when you can start to look at that....take the lack of respect
in that example, you can start to see what that means to you. you can start to look
at why that feels bad, where that comes from, why you react like you do and how you
can change your reactions. how you can begin to be aware and work with it and start
talking about it with your partner. it opens up a ton of space.

opening spaces can create places to find out what's really going on with someone.
i may come to you with a story about one of my sons. i may be worried, or annoyed,
or amused or whatever it is i bring in the story. you can get bogged down in the details
with me. i can tell you details, and you can ask more details and we'll end up with a
detailed story that keeps us at a certain level. or you can ask me 'do you feel
like you're feeling these feelings stronger because your son is moving out? does this touch
on the mothering stuff you've been struggling with lately?'

and've just made space for me to search and explore with you.

sometimes it's completely appropriate to go into all the details and keep things at a certain
level. of course it is. but if you want to make the conversation a place where real sharing
can take place, where you can feel full from what's taken place,
then i'm thinking this making space stuff matters.

it's a subject that took hold of me this weekend.
and i'm having a sneaky thought that maybe this just isn't for conversations,
maybe somehow it's for living.

i haven't quite sat with it all long enough yet.
but i figured i'd share the start...

Friday, July 19, 2013


i gotta smile,
and shake my head....

it's amazing to me how often someone i know reads my blog
and thinks that i'm talking about them when i'm saying something
less than complimentary.

we interact, they read something in the blog, and then they wonder. does make me wonder how we view ourselves!

because! if you read this blog and i know you read this blog, and you're
someone i interact with - i can guaranteed you, UNLESS IT'S REALLY
A WONDERFUL THING - it's not about you!~

i wouldn't do that.

so if that's ever happened to you....step back and think about that.

maybe you see yourself in something here when i'm talking about
a struggle i'm having with someone, or when i talk about something
i see around me that i don't like...

that's an okay thing....cause maybe you really do see that.
maybe it really COULD be about you.
which is fine.
we all have less than complimentary parts.
so maybe that's a good thing to notice.
maybe you just worry a lot and feel insecure.

either way, it's a good thing to look at, isn't it?

i know i routinely take the not so great stuff i see others doing and
flip it back on me to see if i do it.

i think that's a GOOD thing to do....that's how we learn and adjust
and tweak.

it can drive my guy mad when i do that.
he'll tell me it isn't all about me.
and yet......for really is.
if i can take it and grow from it or see myself better or do anything
helpful there for myself.....yeah, i'm gonna flip things i see back on me.

so feel free to do that when you read something that doesn't sound all that great....
see if it fits....that's a good thing....
but don't assume i'm talking about you.
cause i'm really not.

but maybe every bit of it is every one of us.

maybe so.

and maybe we just keep on learning by knowing that.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

listening and responding....

the things we say, we say for reasons.
we don't just tell random stories, or offer random thoughts.
even if it seems like we do.
i'm pretty sure on that.

even the joking we do, we do for a reason.

things that matter to us, or important feelings,
or whatever's really going on inside us comes out in what we're saying,
stuff that bothers us comes up, or dreams being shared can
slip in without anyone really knowing it. we can quietly ask for help
mixed in words that unless you're listening to, you'll miss.

i believe that.
keeping that in my mind when i talk to others isn't always an
easy thing to do. man, i forget that a lot.

i might be hot, rushed, tired, half paying attention....whatever....
and i won't see what's going on.

which all makes me think of the fine art of listening.
they are not kidding when they call it an art.
it's also a gift.
to you and to who you're listening to.

i have been reminded n the past few weeks over and over again,
that listening AND responding to what you've heard is so darn important.

the response is vital to let the person know you have actually done
the listening - which means you did the seeing of them. and the response
needs to be offered with as much attention as the listening is given.

one response in particular has finally sent me into paying attention -
it's happened enough over the past few weeks from different people,
that it's time i looked at it - the correction response!

i have expressed things that i had done or planned to do that made my heart sing,
i shared these as a way of sharing my heart - only to get corrected by what i should
have done.


wow....that's so not a good response.
let's close all the doors, shall we?

thing is -

i have a feeling i might do this a lot myself.
and that bothers me.
why on earth would we do that???
why on earth would we tell someone that what makes their heart sing
wasn't done correctly?
why would we tell them HOW they should have done it?
when um....if their heart is singing, they probably got it right.
but are we listening enough to know their heart is singing and that's
why they're telling us? or are we too quick to tell them how to live?

i'm asking us all to think about it.


oh when you think about it, it's not obvious how we do it.
so think hard, look close....we can do it in a buncha ways.
in ways we think we're helping....
look close, i'm pretty sure you'll see it.

it's got to be because of our own issues, hang ups, concerns, lack of trust...
but it's OURS....not theirs.

and yeah, maybe they can figure that out.
but do they want to keep offering then??

we forget.
we just absolutely forget that those around us are offering us gifts
all the time.

i forget it as much as i experience it.
and i guess it's the hits i get that remind me that i want to stop hitting as well.

the art of listening.
they're not kidding it's an art......

i want to practice it and practice it...
so that when someone is quietly telling me they did something that made
them happy, i will hear it, and i will pause and ask for more, and i will
listen til i can hear the music and then i want to dance with them -
because what greater joy is there than for someone to have done something
to make their heart sing? oh! i's for someone to SHARE what
they did with me and let me in on it......

i want to make it so i don't miss those moments.
i really really do.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

real feel

the whole 'real feel' thing with the weather got me thinking.

to be honest, it drives me nuts.
it's hot, leave me alone.
don't tell me it's gonna feel like 200 degrees today.
don't tell me when it's cold that i'm gonna feel even colder.
just don't do it.
but then i got to thinking about it and playing with it....
what if we used 'real feel' all thru life?!
i IS incredibly descriptive.
i've been having some fun with it on facebook and decided to bring it over
to a blog series i hope to keep slipping in here now and again....called....what else???
'real feel'

and what better topic to begin with than the one that keeps popping up all around me -

self love.

ahhhh self love. we're all sposed to have self love. you can't love another until you
love yourself. nodding and smiling, of course i love myself.

real feel???  -----   what self?!

it's not an easy journey figuring out who you are.
and all of a sudden your 'sposed to love yourself.
what if you don't even KNOW yourself?!

i remember being in my early twenties walking into a bookstore to buy myself
a book. a book that i would enjoy just for myself. a treat.

i stopped in the middle of the store, unsure of what section to turn into
and begin that delicious task of finding the perfect book.
standing there, breathing in the smell of the books, with a blank look on my face,
i had no idea which way to go.

no, it wasn't because there were so many different subjects that fascinated me.
it was because i had absolutely no idea of what it was that *i* liked.
the books i had been reading after my nancy drew days were pretty much books
i thought my father would want me to read. if dad liked it, then i'd read it.

i actually read to please someone else.
yes, i did.
i did a whole lotta things to please someone else.
and um....your father isn't exactly the best role model choice for books if
you're a 21 year ol' gal.

i was stunned at how stuck i was.

so....being newly married, i figured it was time to find myself and my likes.

okay not really.

my new husband and i thought it would be a lovely idea to read the same book at the same time.
we'd get two copies, we'd each read and talk about the books together. nice, huh? a perfect relationship enhancing  kinda thing to do.

thing was....i didn't know any good books cause i hadn't picked any myself.
i didn't read too much fiction, (my dad didn't read ANY fiction)
and since that was the direction we had decided on....i felt lost.
and so........
ah heard it coming - HE picked the books.
because he knew.

(insert dope slap here.)(or gentle compassionate hug.)
(actually, let's go for the hug...)

and go figure....i didn't like the books.

and yes, it gets worse.

when i didn't like them (and i can't remember liking a single one!) i figured, since he
knew of these, and had read lots of them, and they were his favorites, or his favorite
authors, that i just wasn't smart enough to 'get' them. or i wasn't enlightened enough
to really understand.

something was wrong with me, i figured.

i went there quite often -
the something must be wrong with me place.

so i kept trying.
over and over again.
book after book.

it's hard for me to believe this really did happen, let alone type this out for you to read,
but it did most certainly happen.
and over and over again i lost myself, gave myself away, didn't believe in myself,
didn't trust myself, and certainly wasn't swimming in the sea of self love.

how could i be?
i didn't know who i was.

i have been talking and thinking a LOT about self love lately.
it's been a lotta years since those days, and i know myself much much deeper now,
i have made choices that have cost me dearly based on what i know...and have gained
more than i could have ever imagined by acknowledging who it is that i am.

i swim in the sea of self love a bit....okay....maybe more in the pond of self love.
i WANT to swim in the sea....but you gotta start somewhere, don't ya?
and maybe the first step is starting to listen to the whisperings inside of you,
believing that you're just as good as everyone else, and that your tastes are your own
and they don't make you any better or worse than anyone else - they make you you.

start where you're at,
offer yourself compassion as often as you can,
forgive yourself when you don't, and know that your heart, no matter what you've
been thru or what you've been told is your most precious treasure, and the best
thing you can ever do for yourself is to learn to hold it as the treasure that it is.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

more gems!

it's been just a little too darn long since we've had some mark nepo gems here,
hasn't it?!

i found myself coming to the end of one of his books -
and i panicked! it was when i was having a really hard time recently
and thought 'ohmygosh, i need him!'

i have not been spending my money on anything lately.
i've been in full budget mode, just tightening the belt everywhere i can.
but when i saw that i would be out of mister nepo,
i immediately got on line and ordered two more books!
i didn't even hesitate.

it's something i learned from my dad....
books are not a luxury, they're a necessity.
and mark nepo's books are a must of a must for me. it turns out i've gotten sidetracked into all kindsa his books
and haven't finished the one i was panicking over in the first place!!
but i've got him in my living room, my bedroom and my studio now...
so he's never far away.

so here's a little gem from his book called 'unlearning back to god'
i've got it underlined with a star next to it.....

'This is the power of fear - to make you recoil from anything larger.
While in this state, nothing flows through, and therefore, nothing cleanses
or enlarges. The center remains cut off when it needs to be renewed more
than ever. My life has taught me that how we first stand after doubling over
is crucial to whether we will heal at all.'

i am hoping to remember the thing about how we stand after doubling over.
that really got me...

and then.........just when i thought no one can describe what love really is.....
i found this -

'Embracing another, from spot of grace to spot of grace, from depth to depth,
across our churning surfaces - this is love. And beyond the river of the smaller
gods, all that matters in what we do or leave behind is what we build with love.'

smiling, and so so glad i found this guy!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

strings on the dashboard...

it was an interesting string of thoughts/conversations/pieces of life...

one string - i had been thinking about the different ways we can play the victim.
one of the ways is to claim we aren't a victim and at the same time blame everyone
in our past and present for what's happened to us, feel entitled to things, and then
drip anger out of every pore when those entitled things don't come to us, all the
while claiming we're not victims. --- doing exactly what we're claiming not to do.
creating our blindness to it. spending years creating our chosen blindness.

another string - pondering him and his life. wondering if i could ask him would he tell
me that it was worth it - his journey, his adventure here with this life. and thinking he'd
prolly say no. sitting there under a tree wondering how that would be to feel that way
about your life.

this string over here - getting a plan down about something that was really eating at me.
and immediately feeling better. and coming to that only after a much needed conversation
with my most trusted friend. holding the trust and the plan, and feeling the weight become
so much lighter.

yet another - sitting chatting with a friend, listening to his life-altering insight when he
realized things 'just were' and if this happened to you, then you'd have to go down this
road, and if this other thing happened, it'd lead you down this other road. some of it would
be unpleasant, but that was part of that road. it's just the way it worked. it just was.

i took these strings and laid them out on the dashboard of my car, and then i took a drive
on a beautiful summer day with the most amazing puffy clouds in the gorgeous blue sky.

and i claimed my life.
driving down the highway, i claimed my life.
i declared to the sky that i want to live fully.
i wanted to do everything at once - release into the bigger picture,
grab the smaller picture and not be a victim,
open my eyes and not blind myself with my own games,
know the journey was filled with things that just were,
and be okay with that, accepting of that, embracing of that.
guide things i could, let go of things i couldn't.
trust those i knew i could trust, let them in, lean hard when i needed to,
ask for guidance when i was lost, and offer the same in return.
do more than just 'be nice'..... do what would allow me to nod yes
when asked if i was happy -
knowing the nod would have to be the answer along with the light in my eyes -
because words wouldn't be able to go deep enough, go wide enough, be strong enough
to capture what i felt.
know that i was creating the life i was blessed to live.

driving down the road,
windows open,
hair flying all around,
i claimed my life.
i released my life.
i thanked my life.

and the strings flew off my dashboard out into the sky...

Friday, July 12, 2013

self love

self love became quite a topic yesterday over on fb!
if you haven't been over to the bone sigh arts facebook page and
would like to read some of the comments there, head on over.
as always, there was great input from the community there.

between that, and a conversation with a friend, i got to thinking about
HOW we grow self love.

i've been stumbling around with that kinda thing for a lotta years now.

i started out years ago thinking if i could SEE myself,
that would help.
i was obsessed with the idea.

you know......really look.
i figured you couldn't really start until you could see yourself.
and i just felt like i didn't have any kinda accurate picture of who i was.
all i would have to do is start looking, right?!

oh my gosh, that turned into such a darn struggle.
HOW do you see yourself?
it's so easy to skew things and filter things...
how in the world do you accurately do that?
and then there seems to be weird blocks in what you see.
it's harder than i ever thought.

i never really figured that out, and finally threw up my hands, gave up
and decided i wasn't gonna try anymore.

i think that's when it started happening.
of course.
i started seeing more and more.
there sure seems to be something in that whole 'releasing' thing....

i was never really sure how i did it or how it happened,
but i was starting to see.

and i think that's mattered a lot.

but lately.......another piece of the puzzle has come into it all,
i think it's important -

when i do something that's not really in line with who i want to be,
i can be pretty darn hard on myself.
my first instinct is still to beat myself up.
so i've got a lot of work to do yet....
i have started to get to the point where i stop and really look
as to WHY i did whatever i did, or reacted however i reacted.

and i'm noticing more and more often that i say to myself  something like -
'of course you felt that way. of course you were gonna react like that.
look at what it hit and the hurt it brought up.'

i find compassion for myself.

how's that for a concept?!

and i think in that compassion, i see myself even more clearly.
and i'm gentle with myself.
and it opens the door to more self love.

i heard from more than one person yesterday how they hated themselves.
i always feel very sad when i hear that.
but i know words just can't change those feelings.
but i think this thought about stepping back and understanding why we did
something or reacted a certain way would help with that.

because the people i hear it from have suffered some pretty horrible abuse.
if they could step back and say 'oh gosh, of course i react that way. it
brought back all those painful feelings.' or 'of course i reacted that way,
i'm insecure because of all that happened and i'm still growing my confidence.'
stuff like that......well, it seems like that would be one heck of a start into
the self love stuff.

i know that's not easy.
that's the nature of the abuse monster.'s something to consider and hold...

for all of us. abuse or no abuse....
for all of us just trying to love in any way at all.

seeing ourselves.
and adding compassion to the mix when we're unsure of what it is we're seeing.

i think that's a good place to start.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

holding light

it's called 'holding light' - a new project -
a small offering from bone sigh arts to the world.
well, to america to start with.

it's a four by four inch bumper sticker with a white candle on a black background.
it's for anyone who wants one.
(you can read more about that here.)

it's a small square bumper sticker and this little thing has stolen my heart,
lit my fire, delighted my insides.

i struggle with the darkness.
my own
and the darkness i see all around me.

i don't think you can really be alive without hearing and seeing
darkness in so many places. and to top it off, i hear a lot of dark stories coming
thru bone sigh arts.

sometimes it overwhelms me.
i get lost.
wonder about it all.
sometimes it's just hard to stand up again once i've been knocked down flat.

but there's an image that i love.
it's the image of a candle.

candles have intrigued me since i was a kid.
my mom used to paint the most powerful candles - some lit, and some blown out
and smoking, and i could just feel their power. even at a young age,
they captivated me. i have never lost that.

the visual of the candle in the darkness gives me hope.
the idea that we can be each other's candles gives me strength.

yes, there's so much darkness....but ah yes, there's light as well.
there are candles in so many forms lit all around us.
i know sometimes we can't see them, i know there are times we can't
even come close to holding them...
those are the times others hold them for us,
those are the times others hold the knowing for us.
the knowing that the light is there even when we can't see it.

so that eventually, we can stand up again and see the tiny glint.
we can begin taking steps towards the growing light.

i believe in the presence of light in the dark.
i believe in the idea of being candles for each other.

and thru this little square bumper sticker, i can hold a symbol of my belief.
i can offer that belief to the world.
that has made such a difference to my spirit lately.
it has lifted me and reminded me of what i want to do with my life.
it has breathed something back into my bones.

somehow i think those are the kind of things that make the best offerings.

and my spirit is singing over this new project.
and my heart is whispering to the dark - you will not win - we will hold the light steady
and you will not win.

the darkness comes.
blackness surrounds.
overwhelmed, i fall to the ground.
and there, with my arms covering my head,
with my tears soaking the earth,
wanting to block everything out,
it makes its way thru the pain.
it finds me.
the light i can't stop believing in.
the light that somehow will not die.
finding me again,
it tells me to stand and let it shine thru me.
tears still wet on my face, i stand.
choosing to believe, i face the world again
with light in my eyes.

to find out how to get your candle bumper sticker, you can go here!


something weird happened to me.

for various reasons, it's been a pretty stinky couple of months.
it's gotten better, but there's been something almost like a low grade fever in me.
just this heavy dullness that won't go away.

a few things were starting that were lifting the fever.
i was feelin' better....but still not quite myself.

and then....i had this moment.
this moment that caught me totally off guard, stunned me,
and yeah, even hurt me.

but it did something else......
here's a visual...
picture terri standing there and then WHALLLHOOOOP!!!
a huge linebacker rams me in the gut and pushes me across the football field.
can you see it???
terri bent in half feet flying, linebacker pushing, and then BOOMP.
right down in a new spot.
a whole new spot.

and get this.......
i haven't felt this good in months!

maybe a chiropractor cracking your back would be another good example....
there's that loud crack and then ahhhhhhhhh...........

i asked myself several times 'how can you feel this good???'
it certainly was better than i had felt in ages.

i have no idea.
except that i really needed to move outta the spot i was in,
and i think i got shoved out of it.

how cool is that?!

i usually get shoved into ditches or pits.
this is a welcome change!

i'm wondering if maybe thru a series of events that has taken place over these
few stinky months, i'm starting to understand something on a way deeper level.
and i'm starting to understand what it means to be human on a deeper level.
maybe this is the spot i just got shoved into.

maybe i just got dunked in a big lake of self compassion.

self compassion.
self awareness.
self acceptance.

i saw my flaws, my weak spots, and i understood that because of them i couldn't
give myself something i was looking for. and i understood that's not because i'm
not a good enough terri, it's because i'm very much human. and that's the way it works.
that the truth is, no one, including myself can give me this particular thing.

no one.
including myself.

i'm not sure i ever came to that conclusion on much of anything before.
i think i always fell back on the idea that everything i need is within me.
that kinda thing.

and i still believe that - mostly.
but....i think there's a limit because i'm human.
or not an enlightened human.
and that's a new thought.

and the weird thing is i don't feel frustrated or less than.
i'm not sure if i feel disappointed or not.
i haven't gotten that far.

but i do know this........i haven't felt this good in months.
and i feel like it's because i got shoved into a place where i needed to
see myself and be honest about what i was seeing.

and for some reason, that felt really good.

i realize this opens up volumes on what's really a need and what's just a desire...
all that kinda stuff.......

maybe everything we need really IS inside us.
maybe the stuff that honestly can't be given isn't really a need.
maybe we just think it is.
and maybe that's part of the puzzle.

there could be a lotta freedom in that.

i haven't a clue.

i just know i got shoved really hard,
and landed in a lake of self compassion and self acceptance
and maybe a little more acceptance of how the world spins.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


honest to pete do you ever sometimes feel like you're in one big test?!
like you're living a pop quiz?!

this test has a theme. definitely has a theme.
self belief, self love, self worth.

i suppose that's a good thing.
i suppose it's a good thing to walk thru your belief in yourself,
your self worth, to look at those things and figure out what needs
strengthening, what seems to be pretty steady....


some things could actually feel steady?!

ah, yes....some things can actually feel steady, terri.
at least one thing can.
and you know what it is.
it's the one thing (besides your kids) you always always believed in -

bone sighs.

from the very beginning they were the one thing i didn't doubt.
oh, that doesn't mean i don't wobble on my belief in my financial success with them,
it just means i believe in their spirit, their soul, the stuff they come from.

and maybe i needed to remember that
because i am the stuff they come from.
and the universe.

and maybe i needed to notice that.

i certainly got nudged into noticing -
with a moment of feeling defensive and protective of them/me.
with a moment where i looked at them in a way i hadn't in a long long time.

i drove and thought about them.
how i was deeply proud of bone sigh arts.
i don't go there very often.
usually i'm just tryin' to keep my head above water
or talk myself into being brave and offering something that scares me...

it's not often i step back and look and think 'yes. this is what i offer and this
is something i feel proud of.'

but there i was. looking and nodding and knowing.

part of me was wobbly.
not in my belief in bone sighs.
but just in wondering how i'm really gonna do with this whole pop quiz
thing i feel like the universe is throwing at me.

how i'm really gonna do with this whole living open thing i keep trying to do.

but then.....i smiled.
silly girl........look at the bone sighs.
they are the mirror for you to see.
you trust them.
look and see.

i smiled.
i think i needed that.

i looked and saw.
a glance into me.

and i'm kinda thinking we all might need that -
that we all have mirrors that show us ourselves.
all of us.
and i'm betting we forget to look in them and really see.

i think we'd be a whole lot less wobbly if we looked more often.

do you know your mirror?
what is it in your life that you totally believe in and that can show you your spirit?
when's the last time you looked there and saw yourself?
when was the last time you looked and saw yourself and believed in you?

i'm thinking we all need to get out the mirrors!

and i think that was the answer to this part of the quiz.....

Monday, July 8, 2013

a safe place

i've been doin' some thinking.
and some watching.
and some listening.
and some more thinking.

i've been wanting a 'safe' place really badly.

it makes sense.
there's changes that feel really big,
there were some personal things that were really hard,
and there's been challenges right and left.
i'd really like some sturdy footing and just a plain ol' safe place.

and this weekend i figured it out.

it's funny how slow a learner i can be sometimes.

it's me that has to give it to me.

i mean, for real.

i've been looking for it in other places.

please. please. just hand me a safe place and keep it steady.


the 'just hand me' part shoulda been a dead give away.
not gonna happen.
the 'just hand me' stuff never seems to quite work out.

finally coming to realize that it's me who needs to give it to me right now.
that other times i can find it in many different places, but right now,
i think the only place i'm really really gonna feel it is with me giving it to me.

finally, i really understood that.
it wasn't just a thought or a nudging myself.
i finally understood it.

and it fit it with all the many whisperings i've been hearing inside myself lately.

so i've put together a little plan.
certain things i can do to work on giving me that safe place feeling.

what incredibly wonderful plans to make!
and i got excited.

it'd be kinda nice to create what it is i'm looking for.

how come it took me so long to come to that???
specially with the messages i've been getting over and over and over and over again....
pay attention to who you are, love who you are.....

make a space for who you are.
make it safe.
make it nurturing.

seems so obvious now.

what took me so long??

i'm really looking forward to this......

Thursday, July 4, 2013

independence day....

ah yep....leave it to me to start thinking about independence day in an
inner workin' kinda way....what can i say?

i don't think i ever have before.
but! this is a really big year for me to become independent.
while i've been 'on my own' for years and years and years,
i've had my sons as a team right here with me...
that's changing and the whole independent thing is big on my mind.

i'm trying hard to learn what i have to so i'm not constantly asking for help.
i find it frustrating and humbling.

my elderly neighbor needed some windshield wiper fluid in her car.
that's prolly the only car thing i can do on my i went down
to do that for her, joked about bein' her mechanic, felt proud of myself
that i could actually get her hood open, filled the fluid, and then sat and
visited a bit.

she's facing losing her independence and knows it.
it's hanging over her head very heavily.
she's always been incredibly independent and very proud of that.
it's been part of her identity. and it's fading away.

my sons are getting ready to fly the coop and go grab their independence.
they're chomping at the bit now that they can see it happening.
i watch the glow inside them as they make plans for their new life.

it's everywhere....this independence stuff.
and i'm watching it, thinking a lot about it and taking in just how important
it is at all stages of the game.

i know it's a day to be all patriotic.
i'm glad i live in this country, altho there's so many things i'm not proud of.
so it's mixed. very very mixed.

there will be some patriotic gratitude in me as i watch the big ol' explosions
in the sky tonite....i do know how lucky my life has been just because i've
been born american. but i gotta say, mostly there's gonna be some inner reflections
goin' on.

i have a habit of thinking of people as i watch the fireworks. certain patterns and
colors remind me of different people. it's always fun to see who will show up.
this year i'm thinking mixed into all that will be the thoughts of those i know who
are dealing with their own independence issues. i have a feeling they'll be showing

up in the sky for me tonite.

i'm using tonite's fireworks as my own quiet personal celebration.
i've come to quite a time in my life. and part of me understands just how totally
awesome cool it is to step up and grab it. so to honor that thinking, i'm claimin'
those bursts in the sky as mine tonite.

it truly feels like my independence day today.
which is totally awesome cool.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

her birthday

there has been so much goin' on in my life, that i don't even know where to start.
unfortunately, if i shared all that i wanted to, i would be violating privacy all over
the place. friends and family get nervous when you like to write about your life stories.
cause those very same friends and family  are almost always threaded into those stories.
and not always thrilled about that.

and so i sit here tangled and unsure of what to share.

thing's my sister-in-law's birthday today. she would have been 53.


i'm 52.

it feels way too early for her to have left.

ah, but she's not here anymore.
and it's her birthday.

i was given these wonderful celebratory drinking glasses that used to be hers.
it took me awhile before i could pull them out and actually use them.
but now i use them with just about every celebration we have.
i cannot hold one without thinking of her and remembering how precious life is.

i have one sitting out on my kitchen table right now.
i will toast her in just a bit.

i wanted to honor her somehow today.
and so i spent some time thinking about what i could do.

all that has been going on in my life swirled inside of me.
it's a time of transition for me, that's for sure.
there are outside changes and inside changes.
and there has been nudgings and callings from deep inside me.

i have definitely felt the pull to slow down and pay attention to my inner child.
the childlike part of me has been on my mind big time.

and maybe that's why i thought of her childlike part.
i'm not sure.
out of everyone i ever knew, she was probably the person it was easiest for me
to see the inner child in. so many times i looked at her and saw a little girl.

i drove and thought of her...pictured her face....remembered the little girl twinkle i'd see...
and i remembered a certain sadness i would also see.....
i'm pretty sure that she never quite found the love and acceptance of that little girl inside of her.
i'm pretty sure she never quite got what she was looking for there,
as a child and then as a grown woman. i think she was still looking...

that makes me sad.
for her.
and for all of us.
the fact that it can end and we never quite get what we're looking for...

i thought of my own nudgings.
some of which were showing me that it was ME that needed to be there for that
inner child part of was me.
it was me that needed to pay attention more.
it was me that needed to love that part of me fully.

it is me that will give me what i'm looking for.
not anyone else.
altho others may help me find the strength to do what i need to do...
others may help guide me...
it is ultimately up to me.

i teared up.
and i realized what i could do to honor my sister in law's birthday today.

i could spend some time sitting with that child like part of myself,
and i could work on seeing more and listening more and offering more...
i could work on some self love.
all the while holding janene's little girl self in my heart.

i realize that if you're not familiar with your own child like part inside you, this makes no sense
at all...and maybe that's another offering for the day - to put it out anyway...
because i honestly believe we all have these parts inside us.
some know it.
some don't.
but the nudgings are going on.
the searching for love of that part is still happening.
and it is up to us to see and hold and love all of who we are.

what we spend a lifetime seeking is right there within us.

i believe that, and yet i still forget or search in places outside me...over and over.

i'm gonna take another step in the listening to my depths direction today.
in honor of janene.

and i'm going to light a candle today and remember her twinkle,
and i'm going to toast the little girl who was such a part of the
beautiful woman i knew as my sister in law.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

some amazing talent

okay.........this is amazing.

someone asked noah to make a one minute video -
that was it.....gave him one minute to work with and the vertical format you see.
and noah did this.

these are all photos. it's not a vid. these are photos.

can you even imagine packing this much soul and talent into one minute?!

i've seen it a buncha times and each time i'm truly inspired!

check it out.....

Monday, July 1, 2013

it's the approach that really has me intrigued.... was quite a weekend with some pretty major stuff to explore.
i know all that will tumble out in its own way.

but the thing i wanted to share right now was my fascination with the male mind.


it's been something i've been curious about a lot lately.
the way my sons and my partner think.
it's so so so so different than the way i think.

i saw it so clearly last weekend as my sons put a new muffler in my car.
i guess the way it works with mechanical stuff like that is that it's fairly common to have
to adapt things to make them work. or that's what i'm hearing anyway.

their adaptation had me so intrigued.
they didn't blink. just went to work figuring it out.
just watching their brains was so amazing to me.
and their attitude about it all.
how it was completely natural to them.
you need to make it up as you go along, so let's figure it out.
all part of the process.

i mean, seriously, i want the car fixed in two minutes.
i have no understanding of any of it and i just want it all to be okay.
there is absolutely no natural process at all to me about any of it,
and the idea of winging it and doin' something outside the box to make it work
is just beyond me.
this makes me laugh as i bet a guy might say the same thing for some of the things
women do....

then this weekend my guy did some kinda home improvement thing over
at his house in front of my very eyes. i watched his brain work, and saw how
he figured things out. and just how he approached it all. i think the APPROACH
has got me equally intrigued. it's patient, thoughtful, logical....with something else
thrown in there - some kinda knowing that it's figure-out-able. there's this complete
confidence in themselves that these guys have - there's this air of 'well, if this doesn't
work, we'll figure out something that does.'

i don't work like them.
at all.
and i admire it greatly.

my car has been having some problems lately.
so my sons have been doin' some work on it.
it's hard for me to just stand by and not be of any help.
but i'm completely lost with this stuff.

i figure it's time for me to learn a bit.
and so i hover and i watch and i try to remember what i'm watching.

but now.....there's a part of me that really wants to stretch my brain a bit.
i really want to learn how to think a little bit like they do - that's been goin'
on for sometime. but now it's more -
i want to learn how to APPROACH things like they do.
not just to be able to do stuff on my own....but to see if i can think in a different way.
BE in a different way...APPROACH it all with a knowing something like they have.
i'm not crazy, i know i won't ever get much of it down.
it's too foreign to me.

but i would so like to get part of it down.
it seems like a really helpful way to think and to be.

of course, it's limiting.
too linear and need both.
but shoot......i've got just about all zigzaggy and circular thinking....
i could use a little of the other. and gosh i could certainly use more
of the methodical patience i see in them.

men and women spend soooooo much time rolling their eyes at each other's thinking.
honestly, we have so much to offer each other by learning the different ways -
we need to do less eye rolling and more seeing, i think.

and i'm thinking this won't just come in handy with fixing my faucet,
it's gonna come in handy when workin' with my inner stuff as well.
and i'm pretty excited about it.

i am seriously considering putting an old riding lawn mower in my living room
to tinker on and learn on. how cool would that be? my guy says there's a less
intrusive way for me to learn....but i don't know....this appeals to my artist
senses. maybe that's the way to combine the two brains? we shall see.....

for now, there's enough car fixing hovering ahead of me this week to soak in a bit.
i'll be stretching the brain for sure..........and watching my approach.