September 28, 2015

The Raw Places

My mom died at 2am Saturday. I took this photograph five hours later. It reminds me of the vigil we kept for mom. On the hospice floor, we held a 12-hour vigil. The last few hours, we literally encircled her with love--me lying in bed with mom, hand on her heart; my sister sitting by mom's side, stroking her forehead; dad, bowed forward, holding mom's feet; my other sister soothing dad's hands and my feet. It was a circle of love and awareness. She resisted for hours, but then died with some ease. It was difficult, but deeply important and valuable. I have no regrets. 

My heart is filled with both love and sorrow. These are the raw places of which we don't often speak. I'm vulnerable. My heart is cracked open--to the grief and to the beauty. This life is so very precious.


September 17, 2015

Start Where You Are

Some days I begin with a strong intention, but quickly lose myself in thoughts, externals, or busyness. Life feels chaotic and I feel unsettled. Yet mindfulness has taught me this: remember to remember. Wherever I am--whatever my mind state and actions--I can begin again, right now. If I pause and breathe; if I take an honest yet gentle look inward, I can move forward with intention.  

We often sabotage ourselves by thinking change must be grand. Our inner-critics claim: It's not worth doing if you can't do it full steam and exactly right; or it's not worth doing if you don't have a large chunk of time. Yet lasting change occurs in small, consistent ways. The only requirement is to begin--to start exactly where you are. Meet yourself with kindness and integrity; forgive yourself when you falter; and be brave enough to start again.

(If the embedded audio, 5-minute meditation, takes too long to load, you can go directly to my SoundCloud page.)


September 9, 2015


Life is uncertain. We might prefer it otherwise, but change happens, often. Maya Angelou wrote: "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." She was a wise woman. I'll add a fourth thing: change. I learn a lot about myself in the way I handle change. I see where I flow and where I resist. I see where I want something different or don't want what I get. And I feel how the fight exhausts me. I want to be at peace, not war, with my life. At peace and fully present. So I breathe into the change--breathe and be. I try to find ease--the littlest bit of ease--even in uncertainty.