That Friday I Found Magic

October 1, 2014

inpursuitofmagic

She called shortly after my son left for school, offering to take me into town to get some much needed groceries. Just a week prior, my lovely old (very very old) car called it quits. Being so new in town, there wasn’t anyone I felt comfortable calling for a bit of help. I was sitting at the table wondering how I was going to get to the store. She found me through my Etsy shop, saw that we live in the same town, and reached out. A beautiful angel who floated into my life to remind me of the magic that is still here.

We headed into town, talking about all the things that have led us to where we are today. It felt like we’d known each other for years. You know those kinds of friendships that seem to pick up where they left off in another lifetime…yes, that’s it.

Trader Joe’s was our destination. Up and down the aisles, I stuffed my cart with everything I thought I might need (and not need…chocolate covered almonds…ahem). At the checkout aisle, I became entirely absorbed in the story of an upcoming camping trip that the awesome employee was sharing with me. A little glimpse into another’s life. What a gift that is.

As I was waiting for my new friend to finish at the cashier, I heard my name called out from somewhere. At first, I was sure I was imagining things. I know two people in this town; what’s the likelihood of running into one of them? Pretty good, I guess. I looked around and saw the face of another angel. I’d been thinking about her, wanting to initiate contact, but let that little “she’s probably too busy” voice take over. And there she was. We knew it was time to get together and catch up on life. More magical moments.

As that was taking place, one of the other employees, who was checking out my friend (at the register I mean), heard my comment about knowing two people in this town and decided to reach out and give me his number, and his girlfriend’s as well. I’d talked with him in the checkout line before, on the day I arrived in Oregon. We discovered we have a Bali connection (small world). I don’t think he knows how much that simple gesture of reaching out meant to me. One day I may just tell him that in that one moment of kindness, my life changed. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I do belong here. All the prior days of questioning myself, doubting my decision to move back to the States, faded away.

Light entered my life that Friday morning. Magic unfolded right in front of me. My heart opened and I did the one thing I’ve always been so scared of doing: I allowed myself to receive. There is beauty and kindness and love (oh yes…so much love) everywhere, if only I am open to notice it. It’s an ongoing invitation to simply say “yes” and allow this beautiful cycle of giving and receiving to flow. I don’t have to do it all on my own. Our culture places so much importance on independence, often forgetting about the even greater importance of connection.

We need each other.

To those three angels who came into my life last Friday, I want you to know how much I appreciate you. The gifts you gave to me are beyond words. I will tuck that day into my heart to go back to whenever I feel alone in this world. I will remember that the illusion of separation is just that: an illusion.

Connection. Oh how it matters.

 

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The Journey

October 1, 2014

journey

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Words that Speak to my Soul

September 22, 2014

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We’re All a Little Fragile

September 17, 2014

fragileI’m usually able to find the silver lining, even in the darkest of times. There’s always something to be grateful for. Sometimes, though, things pile up upon the fragile layers of my heart, weighing me down for a while. I flutter and fidget, with hopes of dislodging the heaviness. After a while, I feel a shift — a release of some sort. I’m then able to fly free again.

There are times when all I want is permission to be fragile for a bit. 

I just want to curl up like a wee bairn in the lap of a nurturing soul and weep until the spring in the well of my core runs dry.

I want to be soothed and nurtured, as a gentle hand strokes my hair in the rhythmic waves of understanding.

I want to feel deep down to the marrow of my bones until I surrender to the tectonic shudder that clears away every last bit of piled up debris.

Then I will exhale and feel the sweet relief of surrender, as I free myself from all that tries to keep me down.

We’re all a little bit fragile now and then. May we open our arms and embrace one another, offering a soft space to fall when we need to. My heart is open, inviting you in. Beautiful wings envelop you. Fly with me. ♥

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The Guest House

September 16, 2014

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Jelaluddin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks

My beautiful friend, Lori, passed this along to me today. After a long week of challenge after challenge, I am reminded that every experience is an opportunity to embrace the totality of this life experience, for all that it offers. Sometimes I will soar; other times I will stumble. Never will I be alone. There are so many amazing people in my life who are always there for me, no matter what is happening around me. Perhaps this is a time of clearing, as space is being created for even more beauty and joy to enter my heart. Yes, that’s what I choose to believe. ♥

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Stretching into Self Love

September 10, 2014

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That voice in my head kept saying, “Just go back to bed,” when my heart was clearly telling me otherwise. With so much stress weighing me down lately, I’ve been neglecting to take care of myself. I know what I need, but allow my stubborn ways to convince me that there’s just no time for any of that.

This morning, I decided to listen to my heart, and take action based on the wisdom within. I dusted off my yoga pants, got in the car, and drove to a studio that I’d visited last week. I haven’t been to a class in the year since returning to the States, and was a bit nervous about how it would all go.

From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in the right place. Every bit of resistance that was keeping me from nourishing my body and soul seemed to surrender to a greater knowing. As I sat there and closed my eyes, with the soft music in the background, all of the events of the recent past began to dissipate. Every breath brought me a little bit closer to center — to that place within me that expands beyond the challenges and difficulties.

I’m reminded today of the greater need to carve out moments for self-care every day, not just when things pile up and become unbearable. Life in our modern times is not likely to offer continuous balance and serenity. It really is up to us to find harmony within the chaos, in whatever ways feel nurturing and loving.

Today, I am so grateful that I listened to my heart and stepped into self-love. Little by little, I’m finding my way. ♥

Art by Lori Portka

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Steeped in Wellness

September 7, 2014

teaMany of my evenings are savored in the garden, weeding out the growth, communing with butterflies, snipping wee stems of lavender blossoms, and watching new life take root. It’s my meditation. Peace washes through me as I connect with the tranquility of nature.

I’m reminded of the beautiful cycles of life. From root to blossom, and everything in between, the journey that we all take is one of harmony & chaos — a paradox to be embraced.

Those stubborn dandelions that take over the garden actually have gifts to offer us. The roots and blossoms of these common “weeds” are filled with medicinal properties. Dandelions are rich in calcium, essential for bone growth and strength. They are used as a liver tonic, help regulate blood sugar, are wonderful for urinary disorders, and soothe skin problems.

The lavender blossoms that the bees love to feast upon make a wonderful tea for calming the nerves and promoting a peaceful state of mind. They are a beautiful addition to a bath, as the fragrant steam invites deep relaxation and prepares us for sleep. I love to brew a colorful cup of lavender and rose petal tea in the evening.

Nature’s medicine is gently powerful. The wisdom from mother earth surrounds us each and every day. Magical offerings to be received and cherished.

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The Whispers of the Morning

August 21, 2014

blossoms

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” — Roald Dahl

As I sit in the stillness of the morning, I’m drawn in to the melody of the birds all around me. They have their own symphony, calling out to one another, patiently awaiting the response that comes from a neighboring tree. I can hear an owl in the distance, sharing her own voice of wisdom.

The way the sun streams through the leaves, highlighting little sparkles of dust in the air. They float down like nature’s glitter, there to offer a bit of magic on a seemingly ordinary morning.

The sweet scent of caramel trickles up to awaken my senses, as I close my eyes and take in the beauty of a new day.

There is magic all around me.

My thoughts travel to things I must get done. How insignificant they are in moments like these. Nothing else matters but sinking into this moment, becoming part of the dance of life that goes on whether I get the shopping list done or not. Life is unfolding right in front of me. Isn’t this what I breathe for?

If I listen close enough, I will hear the whispers of the mourning dove, as she reminds me to savor every moment. This life is far too precious to focus on anything but the magic that seeps through my bones. The very essence of creation lies dormant within me, just waiting for me to say “yes.”

I have spent far too many days questioning my purpose. Perhaps this is it, right here in this way. Ordinary magic, opening widely to receive me into the sacred pulse of life. My life.

Every moment is an invitation.

What is calling out to you in this sacred moment?

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Life as a Sensitive Soul

August 20, 2014

holdingflowers

Sensitive – Emotional – Loner – Unusual – Eccentric – Mysterious

These are words I have heard many times, in my head, heart, and through the expressions of others. I have always felt partly in this world and partly somewhere else, yet where that “somewhere else” is, I have never really known. The language of “feelings” is the one I know best. Sit with me for a moment and I will feel what is in your heart, yearning to be acknowledged and expressed.

I connect with the untamed spirits of animals and wildlife on a level deeper than words can reveal. There is a knowing within them that speaks directly to my heart. The blossom of a daisy, soft purr of a cat, and freedom of a bird in flight – all so magical.

It often feels as if the emotions of the world are sitting upon my shoulders; I feel everything so intensely. When Mother Earth cries for help, shaking her core and blowing the winds of change throughout the planet, I connect to her and hear her cry even before her actions are revealed. When I gather in a crowd, I feel the collective energy and emotions of the people. All seems to swirl around me, asking for recognition and understanding. My body responds with symptoms and ailments that the medical profession just can’t seem to pinpoint. I used to wonder what was “wrong” with me. “Why do I feel so much?” “How do I turn it off?” “Can’t I just be normal?” I just wanted to fit in.

Then something shifted…

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