Wednesday, April 30, 2014

couldn't hurt

someone i love is stressed right now.
i've gotten to the age where i know that ain't so good.
so, inspired,  i've been workin' on my own stress.

granted, i'm in a good spot, and stress isn't high anyway.
but i figure i'll watch and think about it.
i want to try the awareness thing with this too and see where it gets me.

i headed up to the grocery store to buy some goodies for my sons.
as i'm headin' into line, i see a woman with one item walking by.
she's eyed this line, doesn't like it and has moved to the register down the way.

having walked by the other register already, i figured she'll be back.
she looked stressed, had one item, and this line looked easier.
i deliberately waited in putting my stuff up on the belt to keep a place for her open.

sure enough.
she came back.

i turned, smiled said 'i thought you'd be back. i saved you a place.'
and i moved outta the way so she could get in front of me.

i believe all she said was 'yeah' as she plopped her pink roll of bubble gum tape down.

seriously? she's gonna stand in line for that?
well, i thought, maybe she said 'thank you' and i missed it.
and maybe she's getting her son a goodie, like i am.
maybe he loves pink bubble gum tape and will be delighted.

things were going slowly, so i opened up a gardening magazine.
oh wow. talk about beautiful gardens out there. i browsed thru
amazed at the gorgeous colors of the flowers and thought about
what a beautiful world it was.

ms. pink tape roll started grumbling about no self serve registers being open.

i looked up. smiled. said they were prolly workin' on them.
was going to say 'but you would have missed me if you went to one of those.'
but i didn't push my luck.

went back to the magazine.

i watched ms. pink tape roll pay for her gum.
it was a less than friendly exchange.
okay, she really wasn't happy today.

off she went.
it was my turn.

i gave the cashier a warm hello thinking it might have been a trying morning.
i joked about the rain.
let's just say she didn't exude warmth.
she said this was a good time to put weed control on the yard as the rain
would soak it in. and she started complaining about dandelions.

i told her they took on a whole new look when you got into making dandelion
wine. soon you'd start wishing for bumper crops.

it didn't go over real well.

the man behind me put his stuff down without the little barrier thingie to
separate us. and yes, she rung up his bagels with my stuff and had to take
those off the tab. altho if i was thinking faster i woulda told her to leave them on.
that woulda been fun.

instead i apologized to her, saying i thought she saw and i should have said.

she grabbed the red barrier bar and dramatically put it between that man's
purchases and the woman behind him.
there was a huge sigh involved.

the man behind me seemed tense.

there was definitely a heavy air in that line.

and yeah, i walked out feeling like possibly the calmest person in the county,
but also realizing something else -

yeah, i wanna work on my stresses.
i want to remember what's important and what's not.
but i also want to learn how to just quietly send people around me light.
just wrap them in something calm, or just think good thoughts about them.
i want to learn to see their beauty under their stress and quietly, silently offer
that their way.

it seemed really important up there.
and i'm thinking everywhere.
i do it here and there.
but only in dramatic moments.
think maybe the ordinary moments need it a whole lot.

so i think i'll use my grocery trips to practice that.......
couldn't hurt.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

maybe being aware is kinda like an oil leak

i have been swimmin' around in a big ol' puddle of thought for awhile now.
it's filled with 'what matters? what's important? what do you want to do with your life?'
'when it's all over what will you have wanted to live?'

that puddle.

and as i've been swimming, i've decided something -

i've decided that i want to stop lettin' my darn baggage lead me,
that i want to become all i can be, and yet still love all that i am at this
very moment.

it's a great decision, isn't it?

and what an absolute interesting challenge -
to want to become more -
and at the same time love me now.
and of course, to leave my darn baggage out of it.

i don't exactly have a plan here.
but i have the desire.
it's really strong right now.

and i think that just the desire and having it all on my mind is making
a difference in my life.

which really tickles me as i don't have any plan to use besides
just keepin' it on my mind.

i had an 'oil spill' in my house recently.
the furnace man came out for routine maintenance and forgot to tighten something.
and oil ooooooooooozed around a whole lot more than anyone would want.

yes, it affected a carpet, and some drywall, and maybe a stair step that
might need replacing....

and for some weird reason, i'm gettin' a kick outta the whole thing.
while the furnace company is being wonderful and right there to do anything
i need, i just wanna fool around with it and see what i can do clean up-wise.
i tore out the carpet which needed tearing out ten years ago.
and i smiled thru the whole disgusting mess.
i knocked out a chunk of drywall with great glee.
and i've been workin' various plans on the odors with much enthusiasm.

i'm loving it.

and i keep cocking my head to the side wondering what's wrong with me?
where's the stress?
where's the upset feeling?
where's the negative energy?
and why the heck am i having fun with this?

and i'm thinking this is cause i've been swimming for days in a puddle
of what matters and who do i want to be - it's a big ol' puddle of  'awareness.'

and i'm thinking who i want to be is leaking out.
kinda like that oil leaked on out.

maybe being aware is kinda like an oil leak -
it oozes everywhere, covers everything and you can't miss it when you
walk in the room!

don't know.......just know i'm loving this and 'this' includes an oil spill clean up.
and that makes me laugh, and makes me really hopeful that i'm getting somewhere!

Monday, April 28, 2014

crumbling, withering and hiding - hmmmmmm.......

totally cool happening -

well, one that didn't start out so totally cool.
but ended up awesome -

that voice showed up.
that really negative one that knows just how to get to me......

whenever i hear it i do one of these three things, if not all of them -
i crumble, wither or hide.

honest to pete.


so i guess all these years i've been too busy crumbling, withering or
hiding that i never stopped to ask who the heck was sayin' this stuff.
who was in my head doin' this to me??

i readily acknowledge another 'part' of myself -
my inner child.
'i call her 'little terri' and have gotten good at knowing when she's
around and when she's not. i know when she's in my head.

but i've never really stopped to look for any other 'parts' -

so like what part is this with this lousy voice?!

and for some reason, and i have no idea what that reason was,
i had enough gumption this time to respond to the  voice with a 'who ARE you anyway?!'

and i got this -

the voice was coming from my hurts.
all the hurts i've lived thru that really cut deep and wounded.
the ones i still carry around.
they were all wrapped into one big ol' hunk
with one big ol' negative voice.

my first reaction was  'well, i really don't like need to go away.'

and then i stopped.

i recalled a conversation i just had about someone i knew who was
deeply deeply wounded. in the conversation when asked why i interacted
with her, i said 'she's so wounded, i can't turn my back on her.'

(and no, if any of my friends are reading this, this was not said about you...jeesh!)

she's so wounded i can't turn my back on her.

that sentence popped back into my head.

i heard it.
and i thought it.
and i realized that i couldn't possibly just tell this part of me that i didn't
want it to be around. hadn't it got hurt enough thru life?

so i sat with it a bit.
realized that it was a part of me that was trying to self-protect.
and the last thing this part of me needed was rejection.

and so honest to pete, i visualized embracing it.
holding it.
telling it we were all okay.

i could feel it. i was there offering acceptance.

it was really cool.

and it was fairly quick, my brain gets easily distracted, and off i went back to living.
and guess what?! it wasn't but a few hours later that the voice was back,
full force negativity.
but this time? i was aware enough not to just react with the usual crumbling bit,
but to visualize my wrapping my arms around this part again, and reassuring
this part that i was safe, that we were safe. and it was all okay.

it totally changed everything.

i mean, it REALLY did.
it wasn't about crumbling, withering or hiding -
it was about knowing i was okay and reassuring myself of that.

WHAT a difference.

i'm thinking this voice isn't gonna stop any time soon, if ever.
but i'm thinking that my reactions will change.
and it is in changing those, that possibly i can really change some big stuff inside.

and i am fall on the floor excited about this.

i've read this kinda thing, ah, but never really touched it like this before.

pretty darn awesome cool.

Friday, April 25, 2014


thinking more about the whole 'seeing' theme.
(see post below)

the part about we need others to see ourselves.
well, that throws me a bit.
i agree with it.
but am having trouble untangling how we use the reaction of others
and yet still hold on to our knowing of who we are.
and our believing in who we are
and our liking of who we are.

so i thought of some people i know.
i care about them and love them.
and yet, they're not very socially gracious and can come off
grating to the rest of the world.

they don't know this.
they can't see the reactions of others.
not sure why. they just don't seem to.
or maybe they do and misinterpret them. or maybe they don't use the feedback they get.
i have no idea.

thing is -
the info they get back isn't used to improve their social graces.
and so they're hard to be around.

as i thought of them, i realized that they didn't have to change
WHO they were. it'd just be nice if they adjusted how they offered themselves.

i liked this idea.
was relieved that they didn't have to change the who. just the how.
that felt reassuring to me.

but then i hit an 'uh oh.'

if you really pinned me to the wall and asked me if i believed that,
i would have to say no.
in all honesty, i'm not real fond of the 'who' of them.

uh oh.

so does that mean they have to change?
if people aren't real fond of them?
or does that mean they just have to accept that who they are isn't
very likable? (assuming my opinion is like most others)
(and knowing this is getting complicated and hoping people know
that i understand there's more to life than being likable and am just
trying to simplify this as best i can)

not liking where this was going, i stayed with it anyway.

and i saw something.

when i really dig into them, i like who they are just fine.
i see such incredible hurt and dysfunction and pain of being human
having carved out much of who they are.

underneath tho, we're the same.
and i could understand their pain.
and i could understand them.
and i could feel the connections.


but they don't offer that to me.
they offer me the top level of their pain in a socially difficult way.

and it's not really all that appealing.

but if they offered me who they really are -
opened up and showed me their real selves -
i couldn't help but love that.

cause somehow when someone offers their own real,
we can feel OUR own real,
and it's like finding our place in the world,
like being home.

it's one of those weird, wonderful mysteries of being human.

this is gettin' kinda interesting..........
this sorta all circles around somehow doesn't it?

so maybe the whole thing is offering our real.
letting others see that.
and seeing ourselves when we do that.
seeing ourselves and knowing that who we are is not only enough,
it's perfect.

and maybe that is one heck of a hard thing to do.
and maybe that is really what our work is.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


i spent years tryin' to see myself.
really see.
but it was so darn tricky.
i had all those filters in my head that distorted so much.
my head could play more mind games and offer so many tricks,
that i wasn't sure what to trust.

after spending a long time thinking it really mattered,
and getting nowhere,
i quit.

decided maybe it didn't matter after all.
maybe i didn't really need to.

until the other nite.
when i realized i was looking at myself thru someone else's filter -
and believing what i saw.

and what really threw me about that is this someone else isn't anyone
i respect or trust......and i was using THEIR filter. to see ME.

oh for pete's sakes.

it's time, terri.
you gotta really see for yourself.

and you really really really gotta put those warped filters down.

you know i do a lotta times.
of course i do.

but it's those shaky times.
those times where i'm not so steady,
and feeling really vulnerable -
that's when the ghost filters seem to pop right on over my eyes.

and i'm tired of them.
they're gettin' in my way too darn much lately.

in conversation about this very thing yesterday, i got a little discouraged
as it was pointed out to me that a whole lotta what we learn about ourselves
is figured out by our interactions with others.


we really do need others to see ourselves.

this is gonna get complicated.

and gonna provide a lotta food for thought.
but it's a start.

and here's the real kicker -
it's got to be about everything -
this seeing stuff -
it's got to be about seeing ourselves for who really are,
and for seeing EVERYTHING around us for real.

it's got to be a life changing thing to really see.

i know there are moments i can and do.
thing is - i don't just want moments anymore -
i want to do this for real.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

two miles wide.....

'things that matter' seems to be some sort of theme drilled into my brain right now.
then this morning i got the nudge to 'really look' around me,
and i wanted to be sure to notice the things that mattered.
i wanted to really really see today.

maybe i was pickin' the wrong day.
i wondered how i'd do at the dentist office.
seeing may not come that easily.
i was nervous. and because of that, i figured it wasn't gonna be where i was most aware.
and yet.........maybe it was.

maybe that nervousness got me started in paying attention and appreciating.
as soon as i got in that dentist chair, i noticed the screen with the relaxing photos.
beautiful places anyone would want to be.
i was grateful for that right away. i could get lost in the pictures, in those places.
it works much better for me than some kinda tv runnin'.

at one point, alone in the room, looking at the terracotta cavern,
i noticed how lonely the place was. of course they can't put people in the photo.
that'd ruin the whole idea of the thing. i understood that.
but it popped into my head that the place would mean nothing to me without
someone i loved there as well.

i smiled. 'ah, the things that matter.'

the dentist and hygienist could not have been nicer. his gentle demeanor calming
me right down. as the noises whirred and did their drilly kinda thing, i thought
about the days of my sons workin' on cars. there were times it sounded like this!
i thought about how we're like these big amazing machines, only better -
only way better.
and then these talented body mechanics workin' on us -
and all the stuff that makes it so much more than that -
well, it all wowed me right on the spot.

but before i could get carried away with that thought, some kinda weird icky
teeth drilling, tooth powdery ughy smell hit my nose.

i knew that if i was gonna have a hard time, it was right then.
time to kick in some calming stuff of my own.

so with eyes closed, i pictured each one of my guys. one at a time.

there's this side view of my guy's face that i love.
one reason i like it is i'm usually curled in right next to him when i see it.
it's when he smiles and his eyes crinkle in a certain way.
it's one of my favorites.
i pictured it and felt the feeling it always gives me.

and then one of my sons gets the most gentle look in his blue eyes
and he looks like love.
i could see that.
so deep and real.

i pictured another son, sitting across the table grinning at me.
i love the way he twinkles.

 face to face i went.
and then back thru again.

 and i could hear going thru my mind - 'these are the things that matter.'

when talking family stuff with the doc, i was really struck with how lucky we were to
have the gift of watching our kids grow into people we were proud of. people who
had their hearts leak out into what they did.

there's nothing as wonderful as raising kids with hearts that can't be hidden
and then watching those hearts shine.

turns out the dentist office was a pretty darn good place to see the stuff that mattered.
driving home, my face felt like it was about two miles wide.
but, then, so did my smile.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

soakin' like a spunge

it used to be that when the kids were little,
i'd go outside and see all the thousands of things i needed to do
to keep the place up.

i'd get stressed and wonder how on earth i'd ever get it done.

over the years i got worn down and came to realize i wouldn't.
and somehow along the way, i lost the stress and the caring.

now when i go outside i'm so delighted as there's something to do
in whatever direction i turn. i never have to wonder what i'll do out
there, i just step outside and begin. i love that.

it used to be that when i'd look at the messes my family made,
i would wonder what it would be like to be tidy and have things in order.

and now with the guys taking almost the last of their stuff to their own places,
i can totally see how tidy is over-rated, and messy is the sign that life is happening.
i'm not so sure i'm gonna over tidy around here.

with watching someone's passing that was anything but what i want,
i can see how much it matters to have life be about love. how much it matters
to live outside of yourself.

i'm watching an interesting whoosh of perspectives goin' on inside of me.
some brought on by the natural wearing down of living, some by a transition
in life, and some by a very sad ending.

and it's making me feel 'older' -
but not in a bad way.
in a really cool way.
in a way where i can see how living teaches us a ton if we watch.
and how so many of those trite sayings we hear along the way are anything but trite.

there is so much here to soak in, if we want it.
i've been soakin' like a sponge lately,
and lovin' it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

a wonderful dinner

there's been a ton of things on my mind lately.
things about life and living and what's valuable and what matters
and how i feel about it all and how i feel about me and just a whole
lotta stuff........

so while truly needing a holiday break like easter -
it just kinda slipped right on up here.

i like easter even tho i'm not christian.
i like the hope and the magic and the possibilities.
and right now seemed like a great time to be holding some of that.

but it got here so fast, and i was so overwhelmed with other stuff,
i wasn't as prepared as i normally am.

i did manage to fill an easter basket full of goodies, complete with jelly beans.

but actually plan a lotta food?
we were even making plans the nite before as to make sure we knew which
house we were all gathering at.

but we mostly managed to gather.
while there was a big hole left open as my guy had to work,
the rest of us gathered to goof, banter, talk, and be.

the actual meal that took place left a pretty cool impression on me.

no one cared.
we weren't there for the food.
we were there because we had missed each other and we wanted to catch up.
more than one of us was too worn out to think a lot about what we prepared,
let alone prepare it.

being trained in the mom department for so long, i did have SOME food.
i don't think i'd know how not to. but when i asked a son if he noticed if was
done yet, neither one of us jumped up in a really big hurry when he said
'yeah, i think it's burning.'

so yeah, part of it got over-cooked. and then part of something else someone
else was cooking got burned. really burned apparently. i never did see it,
just heard it get carried outside quickly. and the laughter that went along with it.

we sat at a table covered with egg dye, and eggs and snacks and darts and stuff.
we pushed stuff outta the way, sat down with what we had grabbed at the counter
and talked about what we thought about easter.

we talked about life and death and hope and despair and pain and growing and
light and darkness.

and i had one of the best meals ever.

i've been thinking a lot about what counts. so the timing was nice.
it was so darn cool to see so clearly that the dinner really had very little to do with the food.

and everything to do with the love.

it's a lesson that i'm pretty sure can be transferred to any part of life.
and it's not that complicated a lesson.
and yet one i need to remember over and over again.

toasting that dinner, the dessert of jelly beans afterwards,
and the company that teaches me again and again what living is all about.

Friday, April 18, 2014

a reminder i really needed.

funny how things go -

i spent most of my life believing love always won.
then in my 40's i got that belief knocked outta me.

it sent me reeling for sure.
and i don't know as i'll ever be able to believe that again.

but it wasn't until yesterday that i really remembered the power love does have.

isn't that weird?

i mean, wouldn't you think i'd go searchin' for that?
like okay, maybe it doesn't always win, but it's way powerful, and let me
go see how much of that i still believe in? let me go see how powerful
i do think it is?

i didn't do that apparently.

i think i spent a long time just tryin' to stand up again after that.
and then seeing it and embracing it for sure.
i've done that many many times over.
i believe in love and want to live a life full of it.
but i don't think i ever stopped again to think about how powerful it was.
it was like i was burnt on that topic and wasn't goin' near it.

then yesterday, this thought flashed thru me -

'love is more powerful than your fears.'


there was that thought.

and it made an impression.
cause something i know?
is my fears are really really powerful.

my fears had come over me like a tsunami.
and their power had gotten my attention.

and then -
love covered them.
love just plain ol' washed right over those fears.
and i felt it.

it was like love broke thru something i didn't know how to break thru myself.

and my insides understood.

love was even more powerful than those deep deep fears of mine.

and i gotta say,
that's made a huge impression.

and it's reminded me that i had forgotten the power of love.
the real power of it.

and i am so so glad i was reminded again.
it's been way way too long.....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

motherly advice

i remember something i used to tell my kids.
when they were overtired and yet had something to think thru,
i'd tell them not to worry about it til they rested a bit.
not to figure life out when they were in a worn out spot.
but rather, just put it on a shelf and get some rest,
then deal with it.

i had told them this as i had learned the hard way of trying to
figure out things too many times when i wasn't in the place to do so.

i was always sincere when i said it.
altho, at times it looked like i was just putting them off.

well, i found myself overtired and tryin' hard to put things together
that i just couldn't put together.

and i remembered that advice i used to hand out.
and so i took it.

i told myself to just put what was bothering me on the shelf.
i mostly did.
i mean, it'd come up and enter my brain,
but then i'd put it down again.
sometimes i'd cry first.
cause, believe me, i was way overtired.

as i mowed the lawn today
reasonable thoughts landed into my brain.

where'd they come from?
and i realized -

it was like i had cleared a space for them,
and just let them come to me when i was ready.

just like i used to tell the kids.

sometimes i said some good things as a mom.
and it's comin' in handy as i learn to mother myself.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the people around me - our seventh offering

recently, i decided to tap into the incredible wealth of thoughts, insights and experiences 
of the people around me. i wrote to a buncha these different people asking for their insights
on different subjects to share on my blog. i hope to be posting one of their responses
here each wednesday.

i asked the ever creative, Sorrow, a real tough question. i asked her for her thoughts on how
to allow the pain in the world to be there and still keep going and believing in the hope.
she was in the process of writing a story for her daughter and loved the question and decided
to try to incorporate it into the story! how cool is that?! so her response is in story form! oh yeah!

“ Ursa, I went into overwhelm today. I spent to much time reading the news and listening to people share how bad things are in the world. The tyranny, the pollution, the apathy and the rampant violence. It sat on my heart like a giant pile of rubbish, stinking and smelling and crushing me.” I leaned into her warm furry body and hugged her close.
She stroked my back and rocked me a little “ Cara, your heart is so big, the well of your souls compassion so deep.”
“ Is that a bad thing Ursa?” I ask her.
“ No, Cara! Creating that space, where you grieve, even for those whose lives do not intersect your own is an important thing. Remember Cara, that everything is connected. Your compassion will reach out in ways you will not see.” she says.
“ But Ursa, It's so Huge, so heavy, what do I do with it?” I ask her “ I mean how do I allow all the pain in the world to be there and still keep goin' and still have hope?”
“ Why do you feel like you have to do something with this Cara?”She asks.
“ Holding it, feeling it is so hard. I don't want to just ignore it, or pretend that it's not there. That feels so disrespectful.” I say “ And yet, the longer I dwell in this space, the more despair I feel and the less hope I have.” I sigh deeply.
“ Cara,” she rests her head on top of mine “do you want to pretend that these things do not happen in the world? Do you ignore the darkness that exists?
“ No, of course not, thats why I'm feeling so hopeless. I feel like there is so much wrong and it's just to big for me to hold anymore”
“ Who are you holding it for Cara? Who are you holding all this pain for? What are you holding it for? What does this do? Whom does it serve?” she asks me so many questions I feel lost.
“ Ursa, I am holding this, because it's the way I feel. I have picked it up and really looked at all of it, and I don't feel like I can just put it down, putting it down doesn't change it, doesn't make it better, doesn't mend it. I feel like I should do something, something that would ease the way I feel, and make a tangible difference to these things that have touched me.”
“ ahh,” Ursa says “ You want to make these things go away, you want to fix them?Are they yours to fix?”she asks me, pulling back from me to look into my eyes.
I sigh “ I guess they are not mine to fix, but Ursa these things need to change. They do not serve anyone, not life, not spirit, not anything. All they do is hurt and break more things.” I stare back at her and know she understands. “ it's so hard to have hope and to believe in people and the future when I see so many things that are corrupted. My anger bites hard at me when I look at the greed that motivates these people, it tears at my soul when I see the apathy of people who continue to do nothing. I don't want to be one of the people who does nothing Ursa, but I don't know what to do...” I look down unseeing.
“ Cara, we have spoken of this before. This is the value shift that needs to occur before the larger world can change. You ask me what can you do? How can you hold onto hope, when the despair feels bigger? I would ask you, what is the smallest thing you can do? What is the one action that you know you can do to put peace and hope in your heart?” She cups my face gently in her massive paws and looks into my eyes.
I sigh deeply and gaze at her, searching “ The smallest thing..” I say thinking. “I don't know Ursa, I feel divided. If I find peace, hope, have I let down the part of me that feels the need to help?”I ask
“Cara, You don't always have to do big things, and you don't always have to be doing something to fix everything else. The smallest thing you can do is say 'I see you, I feel for you, your hurting has reached me.' this gives a voice to the grieving. This acknowledges it.” She strokes my hair and soothes me.
“ What do I do next?” I ask.
Ursa smiles at me , she releases my face from her grasp and exhales. “ Cara, tell me what you can do? Tell me what choices you will make to change the current of your own life? Everything in life is about the choices you make. You can not make choices for anyone but yourself.” She raises a paw to stop me before I speak “ Do not go off on a tangent here, I know that there are societal laws that you do not concur with, I am talking about the choices that you can make to live in reciprocity and peace with your inner and outer worlds. What can you do, just you, to try and make a small difference and know that you are making an effort on behalf of your little corner of the world.”
“I think the first thing I have to do is deal with my perspective. How I look at things. The overwhelm comes when I feel like they are so much bigger than me. I can not force change, I can only engage people in discussion and point out things. Your right thou, I can not own their choices. Thats the hardest. Because I know that some of the choices they make, are what makes the problems. But thats not mine. Okay Ursa, it comes back to what I can and can not do. The illusion of control and the holding onto the thoughts that some day people will see they can not live as if the whole world is disposable and here for them to beat with all their rage and brokenness.” I see deeper and feel my chest begin to loosen.

“ Your perspective Cara allows you to choose to focus on what you can do, instead of what you can't and that is the first and hardest step.” Ursa says in a gentle voice.

Sorrow Grey 

Monday, April 14, 2014

okay, so it was there......

i didn't do so good at finding the holy today.
(see post below)

as a matter of fact, i positively sucked at it.
it wasn't til the day was winding down and i was washing it off
in the shower that i could even try to look for it.

i found it.
but after the fact.
not too sure how good that is.....
but it's something, i guess.

miserable crept in all around like little bugs.

but you know what?
looking back thru it, there was plenty of sparkles of light as well.

it's just hard to see them thru the weight sometimes.......

best light ever tho?
sons on the other end of the telephone line giving me a pep talk..........

so now that i'm typing, i see there was some pretty hefty holy.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

a journey

i'm sure i'll be odd the next few days.
if you've had trouble with wordy and incoherent in the past,
prolly want to pass on the next few posts.

i'm experiencing something that's so intense right now that i don't even know
how to hold it all.

it's something we all experience, it's not new to me, it's not even out of the ordinary.

it's the dealing with the practical side of someone passing.

not my first time with this experience. nor will be my last, i would think.

but definitely intense.

i'm not even the main person involved. i'm just the support network,
standing by, helping where i can, being there.

i was standing in the parking lot today at some point trying to figure out
what i was feeling.

you'd never guess by looking at me. i've been crying, i look exhausted,
terribly sad - certainly no glow about me - and yet, i honestly think that
i'm standing in the middle of something holy.

there's some part way down deep inside of me that feels that.

and yet, on top of that is multiple layers of sadness and fatigue.
so the holy just kinda whispers out now and then.

when you go into someone's living quarters, and start going thru their all their stuff,
it's intense. it's moving. it's heart wrenching, it's touching, it's loving, it's hard, it's
queasy, it's dizzying, it's exhausting, and it's holy.

there were moments i laughed. there were moments i cried.
there were moments i thought i was gonna pass out. and there were moments
that just made me sigh. or gasp in wonder. or shake my head.
and cry all over again.

to top it all off, i found the most beautiful note written to me.

no kidding.
mixed in with a few other things....
something i could have overlooked,
or someone else could have just passed over and tossed out.

but there it was.
and i was the one who found it.

written to me.

a thank you.
a beautiful, loving, breathtaking thank you.

a thank you.

i stood there, alone in the room, reading it -
silent at first.
just totally stunned.

and then.......the tears.

talk about a holy moment.
where you realize that you touched someone's life
in a way that mattered.

perspective is falling all over me like rain.
what matters is so clear in my head.
if only i could stay this clear.

for now, i will keep trying to listen to the whispers of holy.
and thank god for the magic that happens in the mess.

Friday, April 11, 2014

a perspective change

i have a bone sigh i mention a fair amount -
'strength lies in the opening of the heart.'

i mention it here and there because i find it one of the hardest sentences to live.
it's one short sentence, and i'm figurin' i'll spend my whole life workin' on it.

today i'm kinda smooshing the ideas of 'opening' and 'softening' together -
i'm pretty sure you can't be open without being soft, nor soft without being open.

but 'softening' was the word that came to me first this morning.
when i thought about how hard life can be sometimes.
and how it's such a challenge to soften.

it was easy to have that thought as i was watching someone else.
i could see her job would be to soften.
and i could see how hard it would be.
but you know, it wasn't mine i was holding. i was watching.
so that's not so difficult.

and then, because life seems to like to play this way -

within an hour, i found myself hurt and closing.
closing and hardening.

i guess i was still kinda soft because i cried.
but my heart wasn't soft.
my feelings were, i guess.
but my heart was closed.

i did the initial things -
i got defiant,
then i cried,
then i told myself it was no big deal and to focus on other things.
then i reminded myself that this wasn't about me and to let it go.
all the while closing my heart and hardening towards these people who hurt me.

i busied myself.
but you know, it was still in me.
and then i remembered that bone sigh.
and i remembered thinking about 'softening' this morning.

this is it, isn't it?
this is the time to soften.
this is the time to understand, to offer compassion in every direction,
and to soften.

THESE are the moments to open to.

and so i sat down and i thought about it.
and i could see all the layers of pain and sadness that brought this hurt about today.
there are so many layers and layers and layers that bring us to where we are and
create how we act and react.

and i could see the people who hurt me affected by their own layers.
i could see how sad some of that was.

and i could see the beauty of actually accepting that and loving them and the situation anyway.

no, not in the way that you go back for more of their company or hurt,
but in the way that you stop being defiant and hurt, and you think of them with compassion,
and wrap everyone in light...and somehow you know it's okay.

these are the moments.

i cried.
and i thought how it wasn't a bad thing that happened.
it was a gorgeous moment handed to me to use and to work with.
and to remind me -
that if i want that strength i'm looking for,
this is one stepping stone along the way.

talk about a perspective change.
my heart totally softened.
and the world opened up again.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a re-start

i did it again.

i keep thinking about being more aware,
paying more attention,
listening closer,
not just assuming -

and then -
i went ahead and 'put something' on someone.
i figured they worked like i did.

and so i assumed they needed something that they didn't need.

and then, after kinda getting hit between the eyes,
i saw that they didn't need what i thought they did.

oh for pete's sakes.

i got kinda ticked at myself.
wondering how many times i'd repeat the same mistakes...

but then i stopped myself and said 'okay, well you got that wrong.
instead of telling yourself how stupid you are, and battering yourself about
and instead of making up a new wrong thing about this person,
how about you try to really see - see yourself, and see them.

and ahem.
i have to admit...

this is progress.

because my pattern then is to go and assume a new wrong thing.
and yes, to beat myself up a whole lot in the process.

i think i saw, and am listening now.

so that's a good thing.

and here - this part is prolly a good thing too -
well, at least to REALIZE i do this -

i think what trips me up a gazillion times over is the assuming people
are working like i am.

if i just put that down, and don't assume ANYTHING,
and watch - and ASK - and listen -

well, seems like it's a good start to a good plan.

making a mental note of that today,
and starting all over once again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

the people around me - offering number six

recently, i decided to tap into the incredible wealth of thoughts, insights and experiences 
of the people around me. i wrote to a buncha these different people asking for their insights
on different subjects to share on my blog. i hope to be posting one of their responses
here each wednesday.

this post is from my lovely friend, diane. diane has a grace and gentleness about her that i
really admire. she is one of the most thoughtful, loving people i've ever met, i've witnessed
her prayers in action and have always liked her deep, quiet faith, and respected how she turns
to prayer in times of struggle.  while we're of different faiths, we are certainly sisters of the stars.
i asked diane to tell us about what prayer is for her. this is what she had to share. thank you,
diane for all you offer those around you every day!

I feel honored and blessed to have been asked to join terri’s “the people around me” - guest responders. 
My question was about prayer – thoughts, insights, feelings. . .
Well, prayer, like breathing, is something I could not live without. Perhaps I should start back at the beginning – well, almost – I was raised an Air Force brat, moving with parents, siblings, widowed grandmothers every couple of years. . .something difficult for a quiet introverted middle child who didn’t make friends easily or quickly. Wherever we lived though, we’d attend church – sometimes on base, sometimes off base. . .always we’d go to a protestant church – or if on base, the services would be some variety of protestant depending on the military preacher assigned at the time. I was probably in third (of three third grade classes – Germany, NY, and Virginia – told you we moved a lot – this all in one school year) grade when I really learned about prayer and faith. We were attending the Congregational Church in Falls Church, VA and I had an amazing Sunday School teacher – I listened hard to her words about an all-loving Lord, his Savior son, the Holy Spirit. . . how no matter what, she said, they always loved us and were always there for us. This was so comforting. While there, and in subsequent churches as I grew up, I did learn and memorize formal prayers. Equally important was that my teacher said prayer could be simply talking to God and, as in any conversation with a loved one, it could be an asking, thanking, praising, casual, specific, whispered, shouted conversation – believe me, I have long remembered those words and have prayed probably every way as well.
I grew into a woman of faith – made choices about what churches to attend, how to raise our children in faith. I feel my faith and practicing of it every day, has helped me to get through a medley of highs and lows, joys and sadnesses, births, deaths, losses, and while I know many have had harder paths to follow in their lives. . .these helped me every day to survive and grow.
How do I pray? What do I expect? Are my prayers always answered? Am I just talking to the wind (I have been asked that)? Where, when do I pray? I pray anytime, anywhere I feel the need – it might be a ‘formal’ or memorized prayer. . .it might be a ‘thank you God for that awesome sunrise you painted’ . . . it might be a request for a friend who is suffering to hurt less. For me, it is so very comforting knowing and believing that I am not ever alone, that I am loved and watched over, that I can ask anything. Do I expect my prayers will be answered – yes I do and yes, I know sometimes the answer will be NO or Not Yet. . . I think the most poignant song I’ve ever heard about the answers to prayer is Collin Raye’s ‘I Get What I Need’ (link below).

To me there is such comfort in prayer – if I can’t sleep, my mind recites memorized prayers. . .what a gentle way to fall asleep. I pray for people I don’t know, people who are lost or making choices/decisions I truly don’t understand. . .I also pray for anyone who asks me to – several years ago I got a spiral notebook to record those requests (so I wouldn’t forget any). . . I am now on my third notebook – I list the date, whom the prayer is for and the reason and who requested it – I pray for them and their concerned kindness as well. And my prayer requests are there too, along with a TY (thank you) next to each prayer that I’ve known has been answered. I hope, and yes, pray, each of you reading this has a comfort like this in your life.  

Diane in Arkansas

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

one heck of a dentist appointment

it's a dentist appointment.

really, terri, how can that possibly make you cry with gratitude as you drive home?

so okay, i admit it, my hormones are outta whack.
hot flashes constantly, my face permanently flushed, emotions wavin' up and
down and tears coming easily.

but STILL - but STILL -

it was SUCH a great visit.

i had gone to a 'factory' dentist last year.
(what i call the chain ones that have a gazillion rooms and dentists and
coupons - lovely coupons to get you in there - and when you're in there
you can kinda see it's streamlined for makin' money...)
got told i needed tons of dental work that i didn't have the money for,
and even signed up for one of those payment cards so i could juggle the funds.

then this great thing happened -
i had to wait for my insurance to fully quick in.
so i didn't do anything.
i waited.
and then i got scared.
cause i scare easily.
and then i used every excuse in the book NOT to make a dentist appointment -
including bad weather, and more that i won't even admit.

but i knew i had something i had to take care of.


so i finally forced myself to make an appointment with a dentist i found on the net.
i decided i wanted a 'real' dentist.
i liked the look of this guy.
i liked the look of his staff.
i liked his wife worked for him.
and i liked his wife put a plug in on the site for her kids to call more often.
i grinned.

totally worth a try.

and you know what?
it was more wonderful than i coulda figured.
AND the dentist was like a real person.
he talked to me and showed me what was going on
and what we'd need to do now and what we could wait and see about.

but here's the thing -
here's where the tears come in -
for a very very very long time - way back into my married days,
my young mom days - way way back - i have been wanting to have some
dental work done that i couldn't afford.

i've just written it off as not possible and figure by the time it will be possible,
i'll be too old to care anymore.

and there he was, asking me about it.
and telling me he could totally do it for me.
and i could totally afford it.


oh my gosh.
i'm gonna do it!
something i've wanted to do for years and years and years and years and years.
cause he's making it happen for me.

so i cried.
i drove home and cried and thought 'you know, he really doesn't have a clue
what he just handed me.' and i thought how wonderful it was that he was there.

and i thought of all the different ways we touch each other, help each other.
and that's where i come to the point of this blog.
(you were wondering, huh?)
he doesn't know.
(but i'll prolly forward this his way so he does know.)
and none of us can really know how we can be there for someone else,
how we can help them.

including 'just' kind words, or understanding, or listening.
i can't seem to get that theme outta my mind lately.

we do not know how we touch each other.
and i'm reminded yet again this morning -
walk softly, listen well, and offer from your heart.

Monday, April 7, 2014


it happened quite by surprise.

i mean, i knew we were gonna clean out the shed.
the guys had to come get all the stuff that was theirs.
but we didn't really plan on when.
and then, there we were, beginning.

and i could start to see how cool this really was gonna be.

and it started to hit me that it was gonna be mine.
this big ol' shed.

that nite, when i was talking about it, i actually teared up.
and i realized why -

see, that shed was never anything i gave a second thought to.
it was always someone else's domain.

as i began to think of this, i realized how my life had been like that.
never having a lot of extra room, we turned rooms into whatever
we needed them to be. things were constantly changing over here.
school rooms, train rooms, band rooms, class rooms for josh to teach in,
the shed for the guys to do mechanics in, the shed for zakk to have his
own work place in. it was always changing. anything we needed, we made it happen.

but that meant a lotta making things work.
i had drum sets in my bedroom and car parts in my kitchen.
i did end up with work space for my business. but that was cramped
for a good long time.

when the guys moved out, i spread out with all that, and felt like a queen.

but i don't know, something about acquiring the shed toppled me over the
edge, and i realized i now had all the room i needed and then some.

and then some.

i have NEVER had that in my whole life.

and it hit me between the eyes.
how much i really did have.
and i knew - i just knew - i was the richest person on earth.

this is not the first time i've had this experience since becoming the
queen of my kingdom here. but each time it comes over me, it feels
deeper and deeper.

i have to shake my head and laugh at my worries about money sometimes.
i have everything.
absolutely everything.

and i don't even know how to articulate this -
but i feel like with all the making do in the past, with all the giving up
any extra space for any project the guys might need - i feel like i've earned it.
i feel like i came to this richness honestly.
there isn't a shred of guilt in the gratitude.

just joy.

i look out my window as i type, over a the freshly painted shed
and hear it singing with me.

projects will be done in there.
not sure what ones,
but do know it's gonna be great fun.
because i'm the queen of my kingdom.

Friday, April 4, 2014


it's one of those thoughts.
feels like a really good one.
and yet, i'm not sure how to articulate it.

it has to do with us as individuals and us in relationships.
any kinda relationship.
partner, mother/child, friend, any relationship at all.

we come into whatever relationship it is with who we are.
and part of who we are is what we're wanting out of life.
like if we want to grow and become more.

i honestly don't know if everyone has that want.
i'm sincere.
i really don't know.
i know some people don't grow and become more.
some people don't seem interested at all.
and i'm not sure how much of that is a choice on their part
or something else.

but this would be about the people who want the 'more.'

they can go into any relationship and get some good out of it.
even the unhealthy ones.
could be hard to find, but it's there.
like maybe the struggle to get free of the relationship made them
stronger. could be the wisdom it took not to believe in the abuse.
something like that. they'll get something good out of it and take
it and become more.

and then! when you take a person who wants to become more and put
them in a healthy relationship, it seems to me the limits begin to fall away.
and the influence that the people have in the relationship is way cool.

so you take a totally rockin' cool person who wants to grow and become more
and you put them with another rockin' cool person who wants the same,
and things begin to happen. kids grow like weeds and bloom in amazing ways.
their parents change and become more, partners take on traits of each other
and become stronger in their weaker places. boundaries open wide and horizons
just broaden.

our influences on each other can be such an incredibly beautiful thing.

as i type this, i'm thinking this is a no brainer.
everyone knows this.

it's just i saw it from a bit of a different angle last nite and have been thinking
of it ever since.

and it reminds me once again, that in all our relationships, we should step back
from time to time and do a check in.

is this healthy for me?
am i becoming more of who i want to be?

if the answer's no.....well, gosh, time to rethink all that, huh?
and if the answer's yes.....well, goodness gracious, it's time to rejoice and hold
the gratitude!~ cause that's the stuff that will bring us to the stars!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

people watching

i was people watching.

enjoyin' all the different ways people were dressed and the personas they had on....
there were such vast differences.
all were intriguing me.

from the heels so high i wondered how the women navigated with them on
to the sweat pants and sneakers,
to the wild and flowery dresses.
each person carried a certain presence about them.

some happier than others.
chattering with a friend,
conducting business on a cell phone,
walking and concentrating on not falling off their heels,
it was a wide range.

and then i saw her.
she had just parked and was walking around her car to get her son out of the back.
the driver who had just pulled up didn't realize this.
he thought she was just walking to the sidewalk so he paused and didn't pull in
as to allow her time to get to the sidewalk.
only that's not where she was goin'.

she went around the car, smiled, tried to push herself close to the car, out of his way,
but then went and opened her car door pretty wide.
there was no way he could pull in now.
i grinned watching.

a car pulled up behind the one who was waiting to pull in.
now we're two cars thick waiting.
i wondered if anyone was getting cranky.
it takes so little to set people off when they're in their cars.
god forbid you slow someone down.

i kept watching.

she pulled her son out of the back,
kept him in her arms and smiled big time at the driver waiting.
it was a bright, brilliant happy, 'isn't life wonderful?' smile.
the thought crossed my mind that there was no way he could be cranky after seeing that.

then she went to cross the street.
she got in the second car's way. and smiled and waved and crossed the street,
only to make another car wait.
and then another person on foot detoured around her.
thru every bit of it, the woman beamed her smile at everyone.

i could just feel the whole area melting with her warmth.

as they got closer i saw the boy.
he had the same brilliant beautiful smile.
how awesome!
he had her light!

she got to my side of the street and set the boy down.
they laughed together and grabbed hands.
they didn't just walk. they kinda bounced.

i sat at the window, and my smile grew bigger and bigger.
by the time she passed where i was sitting, she caught sight of me smiling at her.
and sure enough, she beamed that smile of hers right at me.
the little boy never noticed, he was eagerly looking at something ahead of him.

they passed,
but their warmth stayed.

i sat there thinking about that.
she has absolutely no idea how she caught my eye just then.
and i don't think she has any idea how she spread light everywhere she went that morning.
i don't think you can spread it like that and know it.
i think that's part of it. you just ARE the light.

that's the thing, isn't it?
it's just our being that touches those around us.
and affects how those around us interact with us.
just our being.

how the heck are we gonna be?

such an easy question, huh?

and yet, she was the only light like that i saw walking down the street.

carryin' her and her little boy in my pocket today and beamin' light lit by their very presence.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

the people around me - our fifth offering

recently, i decided to tap into the incredible wealth of thoughts, insights and experiences 
of the people around me. i wrote to a buncha these different people asking for their insights
on different subjects to share on my blog. i hope to be posting one of their responses
here each wednesday.

this post is from my buddy, xina raley. i loved xina the minute i met her. she owned a
nifty little shop down in a town i was doin' an art festival. we ended up working together
and becoming friends. she lost her mom not too long ago and i asked her if she had any
insights she'd share with us. she not only offers us a real and honest look at what she
went thru, she tops it off with that question that gets me every time! xina, thank you for
sharing a part of your journey with us!

There are just too many things to say about the loss of someone you love so dearly. When I look back on the journey of her death, I'm struck by how much I fought it. I truly put everything I had into fighting for her life. Fighting for her quality of life. And how, as the quality declined, I accepted new lows of acceptance. 

I think  we all do that, accept newer lows in a vain attempt to resist big changes and losses. Even if those changes can be of some other kind, even if they're hurtful or damaging to ourselves.  But with loosing my Mom meant I lost my faith, my sense of purpose, lost one of my best friends, lost one of the few people in this world that I really mattered to. And how do you deal with that? I guess I haven't "dealt' with it, it's just that over time, I've rediscovered my faith, my sense of self. my value. And I remember that I am still all those things to her, I always will be. 

I still hurt, just as much as when she first died.  I'm just a little more used to the pain. And honestly, after 2 and half years, I'm still adjusting and learning how to live without her. 

The finality of her death was something that was so horrendous. I've generally looked at life with the attitude that pretty much you can always change where you are - but not with death. That is one of those things that you cannot, in any way, change. 

There is a flip side to my thoughts on this subject matter. The other day a thought hit me with such force and intensity. That in another generation, my mother will not even be thought of by anyone. This woman who is very dear and precious, who truly contributed to her community, who the majority of people really liked, has left very little of an impression on this earth. Her children. But all the millions and millions of people who live their lives that we are not even aware of. Then if we have such little impression in this world, then what is the purpose of our existence?  I think this sounds darker than how it is in my mind. 

you can find xina at whispering hoop

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

the gift of spring

it's sunny and warm here.

it is actually sunny


windows are open.
birds are chirpin'.

i managed to steal some time outside this morning.
not enough.
and i want more.
but at least i got one heck of a window seat here at work.

my back yard has a ton of moss in it.
and the moss is on fire with light and green.

it's like it just wakes up one day and sings with all its glory.

there's a green all around out there that's just poppin' with magic.
it's a different green. it's that spring green that just doesn't happen
any other time.

i sit here and think how lucky i am to be here,
at this window, workin' away and stealin' glances at
spring being born right in front of me.

i have no clue why we're here or what life is all about -
but i do know that my getting to view the world outside
my window is an absolute gift.

and i'm holdin' it with all i can today!