Shadow Dancing

As a kid, shadows are as good as a toy.  Heck – more than a few of us have fun making shadow puppets on a bedroom wall at night as young at heart types – perfecting hand positioning for a rabbit, giraffe, or crocodile. As a kid, we jump over shadows, we look for them behind us as we walk or run, we engage the shadow with such confidence in where we stand that we move the lights and our bodies to make them look different. But, then we grow up…really grow up. The word shadow can take on an entirely new meaning as an adult.  It can be the things about us we consider the ugliest aspects of ourselves. Shadows can become scary, because our take on them is much different when we are adults. They seem to hold up a mirror to us about our failures, perceived inadequacies, painful memories.  Those shadows can seem to just get bigger and bigger when we refuse to look directly at...

You Are Worth It

I wonder if more people than imaginable walk around feeling they aren’t worth the effort. How devastating. People who don’t feel good about themselves – deep down – stand out to me when they distance, shame, minimize, and hurl insults.  They might not think that’s what is happening, but isn’t it?  They might just be able to ignore it with tactics to distance from their own feelings. Even when you know how to center, you can still find it hard not to be contaminated by toxic behaviors around you. When someone shuns kind heartfelt ideas that focus on preserving and protecting human dignity – I wonder how fragile their ego is. Does diverting attention away from the dignity of a human being in favor of power, money, and the mirage of popularity – actually help them build a better life?  Or, does it become a tragic one because they live in a...

Ripple Effects

Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny. ― Mahatma Gandhi Powerful is the description for these words. Whether you are a process person or are only interested in results…   This quote offers both. It’s more evident with time WE are the ripple.  We ripple through our own lives. Others can toss us off course, but our strength is built on how well we pull ourselves back to center when forces attempt to toss us off. As a kid – I remember observing those around me reacting to positive words, thoughts, and actions versus negativity. The good stuff resulted in a stronger trajectory. It might be something as simple as a sibling asking for help on a household chore. I learned early I could make it difficult or I could be...

Observe

I once heard the idea that you should listen to nothing a person says and watch everything they do to learn who they really are. It’s a tad trite – but the point is a good one. We are what we do – not what we say we’ll do. Here’s a challenge for the day: Observe. Listen closely to what people say. People tell you who they are when they talk, not who you are. They will share what they fear, what they care about and hope for in the subtext of their words. Here’s an example: When someone tells you who you are… especially unsolicited and when you disagree – are they actually revealing who THEY are but using you to validate their own choices?

Path Seeker

Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions, and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, we become seekers. -Peter Matthiessen

Rock Collector

I collect rocks. They are one of my favorite souvenirs to bring home from walks and vacations - finding them or buying them. I love learning about stones and imagining where they come from. Amusingly, I actually have several rock polishers in my art studio that I haven't even opened for whatever reason. Polished, cut, worn, sharp edged - they fascinate me. Dull, shiny, sparkly - they inspire me.  I can't entirely define why. I've run into more than a few odd looks when people learn about my habit of buying rocks on vacations. It seems strange and unnecessary to many, but no apologies. I love them. I love them so much I have a long stone and boulder waterfall in my backyard. The boulders are cool or hot in the summer depending on shade and time of day - nature's air conditioners and heaters. I have them around my house - bowls of stones of various colors, textures, and shapes and...

Self-Definition

Two things define you. Your patience when you have nothing & your attitude when you have everything.   Pinterest is one of my favorite social media experiences. It’s fun to see what people like and repin.  I have oodles of quotes there, but I’m sharing this one because it is the most shared and re pinned quote on my boards.  Some days it says everything.

Depth Via 5 Senses

Living a deeper life can’t always involve a lot of slow-paced pondering and internally focused curiosity or some people might implode of frustration or boredom. I get it! We aren’t all put together the same way. There are countless ways to seek meaning in our experiences that don’t require psych manuals and intense inward study. It can be as simple as using any or all of the five generally-recognized senses: see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Savoring life through your senses is pretty simple. Consider these thoughts: 1- How do you experience your senses? 2- Do you take them for granted? 3- Have you considered how your computer keyboard feels beneath your fingers? 4- Do you ever look at things without actually seeing them? 5- Do you make it a point to taste everything you put in your mouth versus just consuming? 6- Are you likely to think about how that living room...