On the heels of our powerful Spring Equinox and Super Worm Moon,
my respect for the Earth is heightened.
Is yours as well?
Happy Earth Day!
The gardening season is beginning!
Do you like the idea of growing your own food
but slugs and bugs stop you in your tracks?
I know something about that! Here’s a glimpse.
The summer of 2003 was an especially rainy one.
Our seeds were sprouting faster than usual and our produce was prolific!
I picked some fresh lettuce for dinner one night, rinsed it and made a fresh salad.
I happily served a big wooden bowl filled to the brim with mixed, colorful greens to my family.
“EW!” my daughter Maria screeched, as she took her first bite of salad.
She jumped off her chair, pushing the salad bowl away
and scattering lettuce leaves across the table.
“A SLUG! THERE’S A SLUG IN MY SALAD! YUK! YUK! DISGUSTING!” She yelled.
My boys were fascinated by the slug
and walked over to her chair to get a closer look.
NO GO on the slug for Maria.
No slug, no salad, no dinner.
“I’m never eating another lettuce leaf from the garden!” she announced.
I blew it. Big time.
My sixteen- year old daughter, raised on fresh, organic produce
would only eat store bought, plastic wrapped lettuce from
a grocery store for the rest of high school.
I really blew it. All for missing one little slippery, slimy slug!
Fast forward to her first week in college.
“Mom,” she said on the other end of the phone line.
“None of the fruits and vegetables has any taste here.”
Is gardening worth it, slugs and bugs and all?
I say YES.
I wish you a fun filled gardening season!
Love and blessings,
Are you planning a Family Vacation?
Wouldn’t you love for your next trip to bring joy for everyone?
It seems like too much to ask doesn’t it?
Isn’t it enough to just get there and hope for the best?
I hear you! I’ve often planned in the same way.
And then…when something works year after year for everyone, across three generations...Wow! Let’s find out why.
Why would a group of born and bred New Englanders flock to the tropics for the Christmas holidays every year?
I decided to ask some of my family members a few questions:
“Why do you love going to Florida for the holidays?”
“What was one of your favorite moments this year?”
In their words…
Mom (age 88)
“The best part of all of you visiting is catching up on news and happenings in your lives.”
“My favorite moments are when each of you arrive and the look of joy on your faces just to be here. Also, the boat trip Marty so generously provides.”
Marty (age 32)
“The best part of gathering in Florida for Christmas is undoubtedly having everyone together. Although we see individual family members throughout the year, it is very rare to have everyone gathered in the same spot for an extended period of time.
I love the change of pace. Whereas life in New York is usually hectic and spent racing around, Florida provides a sense of tranquility. It also doesn’t hurt to be surrounded by beautiful, blue waters!”
“It is very difficult to choose a singular favorite moment, but I loved my early morning walks on the beach with Bear. Most mornings we had the beach entirely to ourselves and it was the ideal way to start a day.”
Noah (age 18)
“I love our family vacation in Florida because for a week or so we are the happiest we are all year. The festivities and excitement surrounding the holidays combine perfectly with the heavenly weather and it is simply magical every year.”
“Having Pooh Bear puppy there!”
Maria (age 31)
“I love having Christmas in Florida!” It’s low key and easy and relaxing. We can all be outside in this amazing beauty and warmth. It’s so nice to have everyone together and be out of the cold!”
“Spending our first Christmas with Bear and watching him make friends with every dog in the colony and cover himself in sand!”
Aaron (age 22)
“Just give me the sea, sand and sun any day, I’m there. I love beach living!”
“Playing with Bear, riding the waves, playing Can Jam on the beach.”
Deborah (age 63)
“Seeing my children and extended family so happy, all in one place!”
I love that we all share a love for the sea. Here, the ocean becomes our program guide. The tides, breezes, the sunrise and sunset, the moonrise set the pace for our days. I call it falling into “ocean time”. It’s a time and place to simply be, surrounded by exquisite, breathtaking beauty. I love that we return to this same beach year after year. As my son Noah says:
“It’s both old and new at the same time.”
“Being on the beach with everyone, my feet in the sand, the sound of the waves, delicious food, being by, in and on the sea!
Now, I’d love to hear for you!
Do you have a great Family Vacation that you’d love to share?
Are inspired by this Blog post? If so, I’d love you to share it!
As always, choose joy!
Love and Blessings,
What is Love?
Before we attempt to answer this big question….
Who was St Valentine?
Are you familiar with his story?
I decided to do a little research. If I’ve ever known this story,
I don’t remember it or maybe I purposely forgot!
I’ll share with you what I discovered:
St. Valentine was a 3rd Century Roman Catholic priest.
He was known as the “patron of love, young people and happy marriages”.
All was going well until Claudius G. took the throne.
Emperor Claudius was having trouble convincing young Roman men to enlist in his army.
One of his men told him that their attraction to women was the reason.
So Claudius passed a law forbidding all relations between men and women!
Father Valentine believed the law to be unjust.
He continued to marry young couples in secret.
Eventually he was discovered, arrested and beheaded
in a public square on February 14, 270 AD.
What a sad beginning to one of the world’s most popular “love celebrated” holidays.
Those who loved Father Valentine chose to honor him
by creating rituals that involved giving and receiving love.
During the 20th century, this holiday evolved into the
exchange of paper Valentines we know today.
The honor of “sainthood” was bestowed upon Father Valentine
many years later, thus he’s most commonly known as St. Valentine.
Confusion around love is nothing new!
What is love? Is this love?
I recently discovered these papers, carefully folded in the side pocket of my purse.
I’ve been carrying them around for over a year,
I remember why….
I was attending a yoga class.
“What are your beliefs about love?” the teacher asked.
We began to write.
This exercise continues to inspire me to
create love rhymes…these even have a melody!
Love is gentle
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is peace
Love is free
Love is comfort
Love is joy
Love’s a baby girl
Love’s a temple
Love’s a door
Love’s a rainbow
That’s for sure!
Love is love
Now it’s your turn!
How would you answer this question?
I’d love to hear your responses!
If you’re so inspired, please leave a comment under this blog or email me!
I wish you a delightful exploration of love this month!
“Time and space cannot play any part
between two loving hearts.”
Love and blessings,
JANUARY BLOG 2019
The rhythmic waves... reliably soothing...
where in your life would more rhythm be helpful?
I call this shell, Sunrise Shell as it looks like it’s been kissed by the sunrise.
Its actual name is Spectral Bittersweet Clam.
What is its story, I wonder?
How far has it traveled to land on this beach
and catch my attention with its beauty?
What gifts are you ready to share this year?
Color in the depths of winter!
Oh, this glorious beach side hibiscus!
Isn't it's very presence enough?
This friendly seagull joined me for a morning walk.
Seagulls carry the song of the sea with them
and inspire me to listen
and sing my own heart’s song more freely.
What song lives in your heart longing to be sung?
let's sing together!
Footprints in the sand
where all living beings can walk side by side in harmony
In the spirit of the sea,
I wish you a new year of creativity,
cooperation and community,
of radiant health, wellbeing and prosperity,
of love, joy and celebrations!
Blessings and love,
Three Simple Happiness Practices...
Would you like to bring more joy into your day?
Here are three simple Happiness practices
to keep you smiling!
Happiness Practice #1
Begin your day with a smile and repeat out loud:
“Life is a miracle!”
Alice and Kate
Happiness Practice #2
Nature is full of joyful surprises!
Happiness Practice #3
Create a Joy Collage Card
No artistic talent necessary! Yay!
This is fun!
Be sure to display the card where you can see it!
The next step is to take action!
Choose one or more Happiness Practices and give them a try.
What did you notice?
I’d love to hear from you.
Blessings and love,
Is Happiness Conditional?
I’m excited to continue our exploration into the nature of Happiness.
I’m so grateful for the rich and compelling contributions in response to last month’s Blog,
What is Happiness?
I hope you are enjoying this exploration as much as I am!
Now let’s go deeper!
Is Happiness conditional? What do Yogis have to say?
“Happiness is our birthright,” said Yogi Bhajan.
We can therefore expect to live joyfully and peacefully, yes?
“Happiness is subtraction,” says Anne.
When we subtract or take away anxiety, fear, anger, judgment, criticism and negative thinking we begin to see, feel and come into relationship with our true nature….JOY.
"Happiness is loving All," says Rose.
“Peace Love Joy”, says Mukesh.
Happiness is like the sun! I say.
On sunny days we experience the sun as light and warm.
We know we could not survive as humans on planet earth without the sun’s life giving energy.
On cloudy days we cannot see and feel the sun as easily. But it is still there behind the clouds.
It is still warming us, just more gently and subtly.
Is Happiness conditional?
I believe happiness is much deeper and vaster than that.
Favorable conditions may “set the stage” for happiness to make a strong appearance, but conditions for happiness do not define or create happiness.
If, for example, you know that on sunny days you feel happy, does that mean that you can only experience joy on sunny days?
There are many other weather conditions.
What happens to your experience of joy on cloudy or stormy days?
Here’s another example:
What if you feel happiest when you have at least 500K in savings, your investments are doing well and your debt is paid off?
Is your experience of happiness tied to your bank account?
How is it that homeless children on the streets of India are smiling?
My guess is because their joy is not attached to conditions.
Their true nature shines through.
I like knowing………..Happiness is a choice that is always available. When we choose happiness, we are choosing to experience and honor our true nature.
As always, thank you for joining me on this fascinating journey.
Please leave a comment if you’re so inspired.
I love receiving your comments and I’ll respond to each one for sure!
Love and blessings,
Have you ever been in a place of “between dreams”?
When one chapter of your life is ending and another is waiting to begin?
I certainly have. I wrote this verse about it:
In the place of between dreams
What unfolds cannot be seen
The soul cries out,
Please give me space
Dance, sing, pray
Walk on in grace
I first heard this term, “between dreams”, an aboriginal saying, a few decades ago while attending a week-long retreat in the Canadian mountains led by my longtime friend and soul sister, Julia Press. Julia embodies Divine love.
This retreat changed my perspective
Since “between dreams” was a theme for many participants in this retreat, we spent some time exploring how to be in relationship with this space.
Early in the week we made masks of our own faces.
Unlike previous retreats where we had decorated our masks with color and glitter and feathers to express our individuality, we left these masks pure white.
On the evening of the ritual we dressed in white.
The room was lit with candlelight. We were asked to enter one at a time in silence and with sacredness, find our mask, put it on and then stand in a circle in the center of the room until all had gathered.
Julia asked us to lie down on the floor on our backs with our heads toward the center of the circle.
“It was a breathtaking mandala of humanity in transition,” she says.
Soft, ethereal music was playing. Julia led a spontaneous meditation about letting go so completely that this was like the day of our death, allowing us to fully be “between dreams” without knowing what the experience would be.
Julia and beautiful Bea covered each of us with a shroud from head to toe.
The music deepened. I felt supported and safe in this sacred circle. We were on our own soul’s journey and at the same time we were journeying together.
We lay there for a long while in stillness.
Time to rise from the dead!
We slowly rose, leaving our old “shroud personas” behind and began to look through the eyes of “between dreams”. As our silent, white forms slowly and gracefully moved through the room, we softly gazed into each other’s eyes. We began to embody “this place of not knowing, this newness that had not yet formed into something,” as Julia so beautifully describes.
“Between dreams” felt beautiful and comfortable.
I felt myself smiling behind my mask. We were dancing in the space of infinite possibilities. The Presence in the room was palpable.
Coming back to our circle, we took off our masks.
“The sharing was slow and deep,” Julia describes, “and the experiences people shared were incredible.”
Contrary to our common cultural beliefs that we must always know what the next step is, this ritual offered a new way of stepping into the unknown for me. It offered an opportunity to embrace “between dreams” as a vital, breathing, sacred space that can be honored and enjoyed. Decades later, it continues to inform my experience.
What would it feel like to trust the place of “between dreams” like the magical place between the ocean tides?
As always, I’d love to hear your comments.
Blessings and love,
July Blog 2018