"I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."

Thursday, December 20, 2012


When you're feeling blue
That's the thing to do
Just watch the smoke rings rise in the air
You'll find your share of memories there

So, dream when the day is through
Dream and they might come true
Things never are as bad as they seem
So dream, dream, dream"

I let emotions get the best of me. This is a fact about me that is unfortunately a constant. I open wide, go big and sometimes have trouble reigning it in and balancing it all. I picture the best, predict the worst. I know I just need to let things be sometimes, to "go with it" as some say. But sometimes it just hurts too much, or I worry too much or I create perfection in my mind too much...

And I crash and burn. All of the sudden its too much. Waves of disappointment, confusion, until I can't bare people anymore and can only imagine solitude. Wandering through bluffs and woods where the mind can rest and be free without the worry of intrusion. But I always wander back, out of inability to disengage or simply defeated by loneliness. Some people have the ability to rationalize everything. I often am jealous of this life of equilibrium. But something tells me this rationalization, though a good lesson and often a source for much needed perspective, may not be the peace answer for all. Feeling with depth allows for passion and creativity and a fierceness that brings great loyalty, an eye for beauty and what lies just beyond the obvious. Things that come to mind or heart that dont usually arise from rationalizing. 

Contemplating people and feelings of sadness or disappointment, after the initial hurt, allow for a certain clarity. Clarity through emotion,  a clarity of priority, of action or lack of, and a sense of self usually becomes vivid.  

So we can "dream.. when we're feeling blue. Dream, its the thing to do."
Dream of the place where you escape the feelings that weigh you down. Solitude of a nature place. Dream of landscapes and buildings whose beauty put you at ease. 
Let the emotions reveal something; a clarity, a desire or an appreciation. 
And if all else fails escape and just dream.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Choose Joy

Choose Joy. I think I read this somewhere in the past couple of days. Its stuck in my brain and when I woke up this morning its what I thought of.
This seems simple. But many of us do not think of Joy as a choice. We think of it as something others bring to us, something things or experiences provide. It takes the right things, the right situation, the right formula to experience pure joy.  It is true that certain things or people or experiences give us joy, and often joy without the expectation of it, which is a wonderful feeling.
But like anything worthwhile in life, I think that often you have to work at joy. There are many forces working against our ability to be joyful. We live in a world of instant gratification, of impossible standards and which values things and more things. This world expects joy from thrilling experiences, lavish living and a life of pure ease. These ideas are a huge disservice to our happiness. Because life is simply not like that. Sure, there are moments of great excitement and thrill, but mostly it is just the daily rhythm of a life that is not always purely gratifying.

And so we could have this sort of mantra of "choose joy." You are not a helpless bystander of your own happiness. You are in control of it. Every day you can choose joy. Choose to be happy, to be thankful, to see the good and to be grateful for all the wonderful things the world has to offer. Some days will be much easier than others. Sometimes joy just cant help but find you, and others you will really have to work at it. But for most of those I know, we have a lot to be joyful about.
Joy means doing the things you love, however small. It means stopping to notice something beautiful around you. Finding happiness in something as small as a coffee or a song. It means knowing you are joyful because you have people in your life who love you. And in the most basic ways, and on the hardest days it means finding joy in the mere fact that you are alive and have a roof over your head, you are free of suffering and hunger.

So choose joy. Isn't it more fun anyway?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My parents never sang me to sleep, and I can't blame them. The musical talents in our family run very, very dry. My parents did, however, tuck me in each night, tell me they loved me. These kinds of comforts are invaluable. I find sometimes one of the hardest things about being an adult is having to always take care of yourself, never having the luxury of letting someone else do it for you. Sometimes after a long day, you just want a home cooked meal and someone to tuck you in.
Sometimes I feel this loss quite painfully, knowing that not only do I now have to pick my own self up and tuck my own self in, but that one day I will be the one who is constantly doing it for my little ones. I will of course be happy to give the love and help, but where does that leave me? So much giving and taking care of others and no one swooping me up and telling me its going to be alright. At least not in the way a parent does for a child.

The one lullaby I did get to hear growing up that always makes me smile is one that was sung to us every night at a sleep away summer camp i went to for several summers. When I think of it, I am back in a cabin, tucked away in a sleeping bag on a bunk bed, feeling so safe and sure. I can smell the pine trees and feel the sting of summer sun on my skin.
And so when I really need a lullaby these days, I sing it to myself in my head.
It goes like this:

The time has come for us to say
That it has been a lovely day
And God's spirit dwelling in your heart
Won't be leaving cause the sun goes down
So have a good night
Have a good night
Have a good good night
Have a good night my good friend

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where time stands still

Misty with rain, a slow moving and dreamy Paris with a moonlight serenade soundtrack is where I lie. Far from the mundane it shines and inspires. The benches and love that warms them are slick and beautiful. Here is a pace and a lovely haze where time ceases to pass. Black and white with dots of warmly worn pastels shape the vignette that complete this view of romance and a passionate solitude. Both comprise the intangible magic that is this place. The people who create and are inspired by the trees, the bridges, the buildings, impossible for them to be intertwined in anything else but the sway and pull of this place, and those who are buried in one another, their infatuation only strengthened by the timeless glow of a city alight with romance.
And a sign. Just like the doors, of thick wood carefully painted in soft pretty letters inviting one to find a place in its landmark, the cafe. They say, come sit and watch. Watch the lovers, as their legs intertwine under a huge umbrella, the rain as it somehow lights up the streets and the buildings. Imagine and taste, think and love. Be here, so present and so wonderfully far away with ideas and notions that can't help but be inspired by the beauty that surrounds. The iron balconies and abundant window boxes filled with brightly colored flowers. The rooftops popping with dormers leaves an everlasting impression.
A place in time where beauty is in every inch and ideas and love thrive, never one without the other.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Sometimes it takes a long while of inaction, of not thinking but simply being to come to a revelation. Its not often we can fully disconnect and let things happen around us and to us without putting up the barriers that we naturally do raise. We may go along, content enough, never wake from a state of complacency unable to lower the barriers or stop working towards something we feel we should be heading towards.  Or sometimes there are moments of shock and clarity or inspiration but they are fleeting.
It is often not only until we can become disconnected, observing and enjoying without a particular goal that things become clear. Maybe its the absence of pressure, or the simple act of letting ourselves just be for once, but it surely is an unexpected pleasure.

I spent the last couple of weeks in France. I went for vacation; for the food, wine and scenery. But I know that entering another country and culture always has its unexpected and lasting effects. Isnt that really the point of travel? To learn about others and how they live, and to be reminded that your ways are not the only ways. To see the differences and appreciate them and respect them, but also to realize how small the world is and how we are all really the same. People are people, who only want love and happiness and to be respected. Traveling in another country can be a humbling experience at times. You are an outsider, a guest and the native people really owe you nothing. But this really gives you the chance to disconnect and observe, slow down in a way you can never do a home. A chance to clear your mind, notice the small things and just absorb.
That is the definitive and favorite word that stays with me from my trip, absorb. Absorb the endless cheese and wine, the sunshine and foreign words floating around be with their beautiful finish. Absorb the images of rolling vineyards, buildings drenched in hundreds of years of history, the way food is so delicately prepared and presented, absorb a pulse, a rhythm, a way of life that I can stand back and admire.
I really didnt suspect the impact these weeks of absorption would have on me. I knew i'd feel relaxed, appreciative of the beauty and the delicious pastries, but not that some things would become utterly clear to me, especially when i didn't spend one minute actively looking for clarity or answers for any kinds of questions.
But, as I laid in bed on our last night in Paris, some things just occurred to me. I need to do something (job) creative and I really really really want to do it on my own terms. I've always known I like to be creative and need an outlet for it. But this was something different, something much more clear. I felt suddenly that just having a hobby of being creative every now and then was simply not going to do. I needed to do something that I created, that i was proud of on a daily basis. From this revelation I asked myself what I think are some of the hard questions; so, you want to do "something" creative... what exactly? How will you do it?
And there came my want of doing it on my own terms. Ive watched so many people I love in family turn their ideas and dreams into their own business or own way of doing what they love outside the strict expectations of "normal" jobs or companies. I've watched them make this dream into a reality and consequently made the life they love to live. So, I thought, why not me?? I can do this, I think, or at least try!
And so I've been working on a project, that I hope can turn into something I can do for a living. And the best part about it is that its my creation and I get to say how its done and when!

I've definitely been wavering between giddy hope and a sense of despair that I will never be able to pull this off and i'll never be good enough. I feel incredibly vulnerable and desperate to achieve this. But I guess that these emotions mean that this means something to me, and thats a start.

So here's hoping... for a bright future in creation and entrepreneurship...

Some photos of beautiful France! What an inspiration!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

ascend the mountains

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." - John Muir

Last weekend I had the great fortune to go on a backpacking trip in the high sierras of Yosemite National Park. I had been to this particular high sierra camp Glen Aulin before, almost 10 years ago with my dad and sister. From the time I was about 9 until that trip when I was about 19, I had the great opportunity to have gone on several similar backpacking trips in Yosemite through a summer camp I went to near the park. I was always deeply impressed by the beauty and solitude of the high sierras, able to let the silence and magnitude of the scenery wash over me with complete surrender. It was simple to transition from the busyness and crowded throngs of "regular life" to the quiet meditative peace of the mountains. These trips always carried with them a deep spiritual retreat as well. The summer camp was rooted in deep christian faith and a kind of very close family was always formed there. These trips provided a kind of comfort and real grounding that I can scarcely recreate in my adult life.
I know the combination of simple, trusting and adaptable youth as well as nostalgia that grows as the years pass and time gap widens between then and now attributes to this view of these trips. I do know, that however exaggerated, these memories are some of the fondest of my childhood and I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Our trip last weekend of course made me think about the backpacking trips of my youth, and my reaction was one of mixed feelings. For one, I felt grateful. To be back in the overwhelming beauty of the high sierras, to take a break from the "real world". I felt warm and calm remembering the trips of past. But I also felt a sort of strange melancholy for what seems like simpler times lost. I know that coming back as an adult, I had a harder time letting go completely of the everyday noise in my head, relaxing fully into the beauty and peace that surrounded me. Sadness, also,  for the lost ability to give myself more in a spiritual way. Although I don't think I can ever be completely sure of what I believe in a spiritual sense, and do know where my tendencies lead, I mourn the loss of the comfort that came with the kind of convictions I had in my youth. It saddens me, I think, not because somewhere deep down I think I have strayed from a path I should be on or a belief that I am wrongfully rejecting, but because like all humans, I long to find meaning in the world, to find a connection in the void. 
But through that sadness comes another source of joy and a different kind of comfort. The mountains were still there. They will always be there, ever present and majestic. Nature will always welcome those who seek comfort and peace in its beauty. While people continually complicate the world, marginalizing and persecuting others in the name of religion and their beliefs, the mountains remain silent pillars of peace and acceptance to all. They are more tolerant and steady than any human spoken "belief" that seems to mostly judge and ridicule. 

And so I will always return, young or old, with structured beliefs or not, eternally grateful to the incredible temple of nature that always welcomes me with open arms. Let us never take for granted the beauty of our earth, and care for it like we should. It has so much to offer us. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

look for the good

So keep'em coming these lines on the road 
And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load 
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise 
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes 

Worry. It does no one any good, yet it often is a part of our lives. I am a worrier, I admit. I always over analyze things, I often tend to imagine the worst when it comes to people and how they feel about me. I like things all arranged nicely in a way that makes me feel good and that all is well. But life is messy, and people are unpredictable and out of my control. Here is where letting go comes in. Something that I'm not very good at. I clutch on to things, to people, desperately trying to fix and make pleasant whatever may be awry. I do it for obvious reasons; no one likes to feel unrest, but also I think somehow I usually feel like its my obligation to make things better, because I usually feel like it must be at least partially my fault.

Is this disturbing? I know I have issues with blame, and Im trying to be bigger than that. I'm working on having more faith in myself, but I'm glad that I can admit blame and don't ever want to lose humility. Mostly I want to learn how to worry less. To focus on the good, and if something is awry, do what is needed to rectify it, and then move on. This will mean that I will have to leave things and move on from things that are not perfectly wrapped up and made pleasant, because that is not always possible.  Do everything with love in mind. That's all we can do. Do good, be kind, apologize when needed and then let go, seek peace.

“If you permit your thoughts to dwell on evil you yourself will become ugly. Look only for the good in everything so you absorb the quality of beauty.” ― Paramahansa Yogananda

Simplify. Focus on the good, the beauty. Life is oh so short. Why waste it in worry? Whenever my worries overcome me, I know I need to turn the focus inward and simplify. At the end of the day we have ourselves, our earth and hopefully love. That is the good, that is the beauty. Let me focus on this, and I will be rewarded tenfold. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

As I was leaving work today, I found that I was kind of grumpy. Yes, it had been kind of a long day. A LOUD day. I teach third grade, and some days the noise level is jut a little much. A day of repeating myself, again, again. A day where I felt I must have been speaking a language other than English because I got either no response or actions that showed the opposite of what I was asking...  Well, yes, these days, in what I do are inevitable, and really not that bad. Usually fatigue is the result.
In the midst of my grumpiness however, I remembered something. As a teacher you are taught to try to remember  what misbehavior almost always means in a child; and that is that a child acts out or misbehaves because they are missing some sort of fundamental emotional need. I know this, and believe it, but its not always easy to remember it or be sensitive to it when some children push you, day after day.
So I remembered this, and remembered and example that so truly proves this idea that happened just last week. I have a student who seems to always be misbehaving. As soon as my back is turned, this person is bothering other people or doing something they are not supposed to do. This person seems to never finish their work on time, or even complete it period. When this person does something they are not supposed to they lie about it... Lets just say my patience level with this individual is thin. Last week, however, this person finished work in a speedy and through manner. I was very proud of this person and made a point of telling them I was. This person proudly showed the work to a parent who immediately began criticizing the work and pointing out errors. My heart sank. It became all to clear to me that no matter what this kid does, he gets criticized. So why not act in a negative manner at school? Its all the same anyway. This kid acts out because he never gets positive feedback. Talk about feeling guilty. On the other hand, I know that this kind of behavior cannot be ignored or tolerated.
This was a sort of wake up call for me, in the sense that it challenged me once again to not forget the bigger picture. There is always so much more going on in some one's life, whether it be a child or adult. It challenged me to be a better teacher, a better person. I always try to be sensitive to others, but I can always do better. I need to do better. Take the time to ask a friend how they are, how they really are. To be supportive always of my husband and his endeavors instead of worrying about how it affects me.

I want more than anything to stay positive. Positive and peaceful. Its not that I have been unhappy, by any means. Often I find though, that its easier to complain or be disgruntled. Instead I want to chose the path of positivity. Taking the extra time and effort to be there for others in a real way, and also to keep my own life in perspective. I hope to emulate positivity. Who knows, it just might catch on.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Love of me

The better part of happiness 

is to wish to be what you are 

                          - Desiderius Erasmus

A quote of the day to let settle in. I have a lot to say about this, but not the time nor the energy at this late hour on a weeknight to do it now.
I will say that sometimes we must go through some real pain and suffering to truly realize this idea. Not in the sense that we are wishing to be someone else, but instead to give us the gumption to stand up for ourselves, to realize we are perfectly fine the way we are, alone seeking just the peace and happiness that depends on no one but ourselves, or just the same finding joy in the company and love of others, but not letting them define us.

So tonight I am thankful. And usually I say for friends, for family for all the things that are important in my life.
But tonight I am thankful, first and foremost, and so greatly for me. I feel like you are not supposed to talk about yourself like this but oh how we should! Placing value, of the utmost urgency and reverence in yourself is essential to happiness and peace. 

And so I am thankful for me and "I celebrate myself and sing myself."

The better part of happiness is to wish to be what you 


                              - Desiderius Erasmus

A quote of the day to let settle in. I have a lot to say about this, but not the time nor the energy at this late hour on a weeknight to do it now.
I will say that sometimes we must go through some real pain and suffering to truly realize this idea. Not in the sense that we are wishing to be someone else, but instead to give us the gumption to stand up for ourselves, to realize we are perfectly fine the way we are, alone seeking just the peace and happiness that depends on no one but ourselves, or just the same finding joy in the company and love of others, but not letting them define us.

So tonight I am thankful. And usually I say for friends, for family for all the things that are important in my life.
But tonight I am thankful, first and foremost, and so greatly for me. I feel like you are not supposed to talk about yourself like this but oh how we should! Placing value, of the utmost urgency and reverence in yourself is essential to happiness and peace. 

And so I am thankful for me and "I celebrate myself and sing myself."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tintern Abbey

I love literature and poetry; I've studied many different works and ready many more for pleasure, most all of which have brought me great joy. There are those few pieces, however, that stand out and most importantly resonate so deeply within me that their impression is ever lasting.

One of these works for me is "Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey". This is a poem by William Wordsworth, one of my favorite poets. I'm not sure when I first read this poem, I think probably In a highschool English class. Its funny because I have not read it in a long time or even thought about it, but yesterday I was on a horribly turbulent flight and I don't do very well with turbulance. Mostly because I get motion sickness very easily, and also because it scares me a little. Whenever I get motion sickness, I close my eyes and picture a calm place. This is a technique that helps me feel better or in the worst cases, not to throw up. Usually I picture a clean white room with a four poster wooden bed that I'm lying on, and huge french doors that open up to a sea view with a nice breeze flowing through. Yesterday for some reason what came to my mind was not this image, but the image I have in my mind of the scenery described in Tintern Abbey. Really this came out of no where, but it reminded me of how much I love the poem and made me want to read it again. So this morning I am in napa, on the patio on a beautiful day at a resort and so I read the poem again. And again I was struck with the beauty of this poem. The beauty of the words and the eloquence of the language, the potency of the meaning and how deeply I connect with it.

Imposing the poem in hopes that you, readers whoever you are will read the poem too and it will move you and you will find the beauty in it that I cherish and revere two much. After all, it's the beauty in this world and in words that make life that much richer and worth while.

"Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"
William Wordsworth

Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur.*—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view 10
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees,
With some uncertain notice, as might seem, 20
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone.

                   Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind 30
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight 40
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lighten'd:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

                                                If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Of joyless day-light; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee
O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the wood
How often has my spirit turned to thee!

And now, with gleams of half-extinguish'd though[t,]
With many recognitions dim and faint, 60
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was, when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, 70
Wherever nature led; more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by,)
To me was all in all.—I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me 80
An appetite: a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour 90
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man, 100
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half-create,*
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, 110
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.

                                     Nor, perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while 120
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, 130
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our chearful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind 140
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; Oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance,
If I should be, where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget 150
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake. 160

Saturday, April 7, 2012


I don't have a lot of time to write now, so Ill just share a few brief thoughts that are so ever present for me right now.
The main one is sorrow. That explains how I feel right now. Sorrow, which floods my whole self and sinks in, heavy and not fleeing. Broken. I feel broken and not just wounded. Broken to where I know that there is no relatively simple fix. I wish i could find a way to wrench an effort from deep inside to do whatever it takes to simply address the sorrow and muster up whatever I had, do whatever I needed to do to fix it. But I know deep inside I'm too far gone for this to be possible. I feel the weight too heavily and I have no strength left.
I'm also not even sure where to start. These things that I feel run so deeply and are so entangled in me that I feel so lost. I just want to melt away and turn to dust.
Instead I must face each grueling day that will follow and try to be a decent human being to others when I need to interact with people, when all I want to do is say nothing, be nothing and just disappear.

I'm praying for strength and somehow peace. That I can move on with dignity and somehow feel like myself again.

Here's hoping.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Live And Let Live

Guilt Trip. Two painful little words. Feeling guilty, what is that really? Some say that to feel guilt you must know deep down you are doing something wrong. Often that is true, but not always. Sometimes people close to you, who hold meaning in your life can make you feel bad, "guilt trip" you about something that you really shouldn't have to feel bad about. Often it comes simply from a difference in opinion, and the unwillingness from the party giving the guilt trip to live and let live. Instead of realizing that another might have a different idea, or a different way of doing things that is perfectly acceptable, they take it as simply a wrong or an unacceptable way and therefore must make the other feel bad about their choice or ways.
The funny thing is that if we had a disagreement of this nature with a stranger or mere acquaintance we would never really experience the guilt trip. We would logically recognize the absurdity of the accusations or simple difference in opinion. When we deal with those who hold significant meaning and history in our lives everything changes. Emotion, rather than logic wins and the guilt ensues.

Now ive never been big on dishing out the guilt. I'm more of a spill my guts/anger type. And honestly, I think this way, though more upsetting at first, is much more productive in the end. Guilt tripping is passive aggressive. Two of my least favorite words in the english language. If you have an issue, address it, honestly and head on. I dont know about you, but I respond much better and find myself more understanding when someone comes directly to me and says im feeling this way because of this, and this is what I need from you. If it comes from a place of sincerity, of wanting to be honest because the relationship is important to them and you, then by all means. Relationships, of all kinds, are not easy. We must work at them and be willing to give and take, and most importantly be honest and conscientious of one another.
What, really is the point of making someone feel guilty? To make someone feel bad because you think they deserve it? To make yourself feel better?  To get what you want out of the situation and the other person? Does it ever solve any problems? I really think it is the worst solution or non solution there is.

What I want out of life is to enjoy and take in all the world has to offer. To live my life to the fullest and it goes without saying, doing so without harm to others. I am, of course willing to make sacrifices for those I love in my life, also to go out of my way to show them I care and that I love them. I am happy to do all that. But I will not apologize or feel guilty or badly for how I choose to live it. It is my life after all. And I think those that really know me would be hard pressed to say that I live it without regard for others or their feelings. So although I am happy to give, I cannot always bend over backwards and be at the beckon call and command of others. I am a grown woman with my own convictions, time and joys.

And so I love live and let live. Find what gives you joy and share that with others when you can. Don't make anyone feel guilty about doing their own thing. As long as someone is living with love in mind, what do you really have to make them feel guilty about? Spend your energy pursuing beauty and grace and joy.
Live and let live.

Love this song so much. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Take A Walk Around

For the past couple of days, "I've seriously had this song on repeat...

I hope this old train breaks down

Then I could take a walk around

And, see what there is to see

And time is just a melody

If I could take a walk around.. If I could just be. Why does it seem that lately I spend most of my time trying. Trying oh so hard to give, and to work and work some more and prepare, and clean up and make sure everyone is OK.  I just want to be. I want to just sit and enjoy the sunshine. Sit and enjoy a view. Think about nothing, or something that I'd like to think about.  

This video brings me instant peace and alternately a real longing and jealousy. I instantly feel happy and peaceful watching the wonderful surfing and swimming and the sheer simplicity and peaceful pace of it all. But in many ways I also wish it was me, and feel frustrated that its not.  I want to walk around barefoot and float in the ocean. I want to take it all in, enjoy the view and relish in a serene silence. I don't want to explain anything to anyone for a while or worry about everyone else and if I am saying the right thing. 

Don't get me wrong. I am a happy person. I am very happy with my life and feel very lucky to have all that I do. For some reason lately it just feels exhausting. So much effort to be where I'm supposed to be and put everyone before myself all day long without anyone (besides my husband at the end of the day, thank god) asking me how I feel or how I'm doing. Effort, exhaustion, rat race? Life's too short. 
I want to be selfish and think about myself a lot of the time. Not at the cost of others, just so much as to make sure I'm taking all that this wonderful world has to offer in the short time I'm lucky to be here..

But as always I am the decider of my own life and what it is or will become. I am not a helpless victim. I luckily have choices. So, if feeling less exhausted and neglected means changing my day to day, then I can figure out a way to do that. Or, it might simply mean making sure I prioritize, ignore things when I can and need to just be. 

As Thoreau said:

"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


“If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other." - Mother Teresa 

A summer sky splattered with a million bright stars viewed from a porch lined with swaying trees swirls in the depths of my desires tonight. Peace and warmth, simplicity. Thinking of nothing but how beautiful it all is. The place where you have nothing dragging you, down and down. Where all toil has been forgotten and, let go.
I've been lucky enough to have many of those nights. Living completely in the moment, nothing is quite better. And now I find myself desperately wishing to be there. Desperately wishing that the monstrous effort I put into being a kind, understanding conscientious person (albeit with flaws, of course, I'm not perfect) would somehow balance things out like it usually does. I must say, with many a things at the moment, that I am at a loss. How can you offer your understanding and make an effort to give and be kind, and get not even an ounce of understanding in return? I am drained. And I am done.
Its frustrating, of course, but it also really hurts. I put myself, my heart, out there so often and so fully, and I trust that those that I do that for care enough to meet me half way and take an interest in me and my hopes, interests, concerns, as they would expect me to do for them. Yet, I'm beating my head against a wall. I'm screaming, and no one can hear me.
I have to be honest with myself. I'm not perfect. Its not like everything I have to say is more important, or my point of view is the only thing worth listening to. I have to ask myself, have I thought of what I might do differently, could I handle things differently?

I'm sure I don't have all the answers. But I know that I have done almost way too much introspection  because of my frustrations. For the things that I may have done wrong or did that hurt someone, and maybe I didn't even realize it, I've apologized. For the rest of my thoughts and opinions, they cannot be held against me.

The older I get the more and more I concentrate on trying to be open minded, diplomatic, understanding, and most importantly respectful of each individuals own path. No two people are meant to live the exact same life. There are a thousand different ways to be a woman, a mom, a human being. There is not one thing, or even one hundred things that one "should do" so we desperately need to strop trying to put people in boxes! Happiness comes in a thousand different forms, so never pity one that YOU think has something missing in their lives. Instead, if someone means something to you, a friend, a family member, and you want them to care about whats important to you in your life, take an interest in theirs. Though we may not always be in the same places in our lives at the same time, there are people we love that we want there always, and sometimes you have to make the effort to include them and let them know they are important to you. How can you ask someone to be passionate about your life when you take little to no interest in theirs?

So.. Understanding. Meeting half way. Taking an interest.
When a person is important to you, be willing to meet them half way. Retain your own opinions, interests and passions, but respect another's path. And something that I haven't mentioned, a lesson and method of thinking that I think can transcend personal relationships and reach into all interactions we have with others: make the goal of all interactions to lift someone up and make them feel good. How amazing is that thought? Approach every person withe the intention of making their day better, their outlook on life more sunny. I know I'd love it if everyone I talked to was focusing on the positive and in a way, encouraging me. We all need encouragement, a smile and most of all love. So instead of withholding these and only offering them in exchange for something that benefits us, give them often and freely. Positivity is contagious. Think of what a world we would live in if this was the general mindset.  Encouragement, smiles and love = happiness. Happiness!! And Happiness = peace. Sweet Peace.

And so I have my new goal, going forward. This is why i love blog writing, its therapeutic! Try to make every interaction a positive one, and even more, one where I have hopefully encouraged someone and maybe even made them feel good, important or even loved. Yes, thank you blog, for turning anger, frustration and hurt into motivation.

I only hope that ill be on that porch on a star filled summer night soon. Sweet peace and awesome beauty. I am grateful.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lessons In Humility

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.”  
     - Henry David Thoreau

Its the new year. I'm always surprised how quickly time passes and every new year I think, how could it already be a new year?
Life is oh so short, and oh so precious. The new year often causes us to reflect on these realities, and hopefully motivates us to prioritize. A new year often inspires us, to set goals and take advantage of the life we have been given.
As I begin the new year I have two things on my mind; defeat and examining the kind of relationships that are in my life.
The last couple of days have been humbling, to say the least. I have made some decisions and handled most situations the best way I knew how, and in some I know failed to do the right thing. I have no problem admitting fault. I am far from perfect.
It seems like a constant balancing act, walking a fine line between pleasing others, fulfilling obligations and even fitting into another's box, and being independent, making my own decisions and doing what I think is best for me. I know that it isn't really feasible to do whatever you want, when you want in life, but as we know life is short and you are in control of your own happiness. And so when do you decide to do what you know is best for you, and when do you put that aside and put others in your life before yourself?
And so I have made some decisions for myself and my own happiness, but not, I thought,  at the expense of anyone else, trying to always remember, whatever I do, to do it with kindness. None the less I seem to have disappointed or upset others, and after more than one incident in the recent days and week, I feel drained, and honestly pretty much defeated. This leaves me to question everything, and completely question myself and I hate it. I start to wonder if I really am making bad decisions, if I really am the cause of all problems and maybe what I thought was right is really me being an inconsiderate jerk.
I want to leave,  be alone where the only one I have to worry about is myself, and I can finally find peace.
And this defeat causes me to think a lot about the relationships in my life and the kind of affect different people in my life have on me.  In the past couple of months I had already been thinking about the kinds of people and kinds of relationships I want in my life. The older I get the more clear it becomes that I am the decider of my own happiness and that it is up to me to take control, as best I can, of my life and my own happiness. A big part of this is choosing who to surround myself with, and who I want in my life and who to have relationships with. Are the people in my life continuously lifting me up, inspiring me and overall being a positive influence in my life? Or are there people who emulate negativity, bring me down and hold grudges and make me feel guilty?
The answer is not always simple. Everyone has faults and no one is a perfect friend. But there comes a point when I think you can clearly realize a pattern of negativity from someone in your life. When they repeatedly bring you down, set unfair expectation or standards and act constantly disappointed in you or hurt by you.
 I want to be surrounded by people who inspire me, who motivate me and who understand, or at least make and effort to understand where I'm coming from. Relationships are about give and take, and I know if I expect this kind of support from people in my life and friends, I of course know that I must offer the same. And I know that people, myself included, can't always be this perfect friend, but there comes a point when sometimes you have to decide whether or not its worth it, whether its just to detrimental to have someone in your life who just defeats you.

Even though these thoughts and questions feel like more of a weight and seem to bring more sadness than anything, I hope that they at least leave me examining myself and how I'm living my life and force me to decide what I want in life and what is really important to me. Hopefully hard things, defeating things do that to us. Maybe they defeat us or burden us with sorrow for the short term, but hopefully they leave us with some wisdom and force us to find strength in character. Being humbled sometimes helps you realize the bigger picture. I just wish it wasn't so painful.

end note : this blog post is terribly written.. I really need to get back to writing more because its getting really bad.   Apologies.