Sunday, January 31, 2016

On My Birthday

In less than an hour it will be my birthday. My 42nd time around the sun.

Before the day gently folds into the next, I’m finding a tender moment of reflection.

...I’m listening to what my heart wants from me this year: A bit more grace. A little more kindness. Space to breathe between the lightning bolts of intensity. Burning all the ways I hide in plain view. Allowing for the ecstasy of life to surge through me while honoring the times I need the sanctity of a quiet hush.

This year, as a dear friend said: it’s time to become comfortable being uncomfortable, to accept the parts of me that are paradoxical ... and trust me: there are quite a few of them.

I have judged myself - often harshly - for being traditional and untethered; wild, yet rooted; distant and then present; lovingly open and withdrawn; generous yet self-absorbed; unattached to outcome, fully surrendered to the moment (or a relationship) and occasionally completely attached, full of expectations.

But ... Life wants us to love ourselves regardless. Even the messy, complex, unsavory, shadowy, human parts.

So this year, I will attempt to gracefully accept who I am right now. Imperfections and all.

Maybe it's not our "Divine" and "Light" parts of ourselves that make us luminous and radiant ... perhaps its the raw edge of our humanness, embraced with love.

Here's to your imperfect beauty, your perfectly imperfect human-ness.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Love Letter

Dearest You,

...Yes, you. 

In two hours, the doors will gently close on this year, allowing the space for the next to ease in.

I don't need fireworks or the pop of fizzing champagne tonight. My year doesn’t need to go out with a “bang.”

It wants to burn low to the ashes and dissolve into the crystal snow outside my window.

It wants to be a gracious host and sweetly dim the lights, letting me know it’s time to leave. It feels the story is over; it’s time for the next one to begin.

I want this next year to gently arrive like the tender elegance of fingertips tracing my palm.

I want it to feel like a graceful sway of Love beckoning me closer ... alluring, enchanting.

I want to be seduced by the new year, then held in a cherished, spacious embrace.

Let's slip into a sense of adoration.

Let's see the divine beauty in stillness.

Let's feel the stars kiss our hair.

Dearest you ... I want to see how you write this next year of your life.

What will your chapters hold? Which lines of poetry will you sing?

How will you love?

May you be filled with an abundance of what you desire.

May you light the inner fire of your spirit.

May you be who you truly are.

...until next year...

Friday, October 30, 2015

This is Not Your Average Break-Up Letter

Dearest You,

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked. Really talked.

I wish we could sit in that café where we shared a loveseat; I rested my head upon your wide shoulders and you slowly inhaled the scent of my hair, kissing the top of my head.

Or we could meet in my car where I’d feel your strong hands wrapped in mine, your lips pressed against them.

If we were in your bed, I’d savor one last time the weight of your thick legs curled around mine, nose buried in my neck, chills cascading down my back.

Mostly, I wish we were on my sofa – where you said you loved me – so we could breathe in this moment of truth.

I’d look into your unsteady eyes, hoping you’d see my heart.

But you are in another state.
Across town.
On a business trip.
Picking out furniture with your new girlfriend.
Planting seeds to harvest with other women.
Holding her.
In a bar at 2 a.m., asking to come over.


You know I write to process, to navigate the unknown and become clear.

It’s how I face myself.
It’s how I face the truth.
It’s how I’m facing you.

My words are all I have to give you.


It seems only fair to let you know that the stories I’ve written in my life are changing.
The plot.
The patterns.
The characters.


Stepping back, I see the similarities.

In each of you, I see the intricate ways you intersect in my heart with common themes of inconsistency, unavailability, and dishonesty all woven together with patches of vibrant beauty and moments of tender sincerity. None of it black and white.

It’s an artful, literary display of lessons spread across faces, across years.

Each of you etched upon my skin a powerful, repetitive myth.

One I am done with.


My whole being aches for a new story.

It is time to feel the steady pulse of my worth.

I am ready to consciously dream new patterns into creation.

I will weave words of golden flowers along my spine.

I will spin all your patchwork lessons into a delicate crown and place it upon my head.

In this story, I choose nothing less than love.

In this story, I choose me.


If you’re brave, come sit with me.

Feel my warm palms against your cheeks.

Hear me say that I love your wild, red flamed spirit; your blue throated wisdom; your radiant sun of a soul. This is how I saw you: the real you, your true essence.

Now, too, I see the tempered version of this you choose to be … and the dulled version I chose to be with you.

Feel my hands slowly leave your face.

Be well. Be happy. I wish for you all that you need.

...It’s time for me to go.

I have a new story to write.

Monday, October 5, 2015

To the Vulnerability in All of Us

In a month, the reign of my marriage will take its final bow. All will be legally dissolved, despite having been divorced in every other way for well over two years.

I’ve written a lot about it.

And you’d think that any emotions or wounds connected to ending a 12+ year relationship would’ve been mended by now.

But divorce makes you see patterns in your life, the interweaving of similar choices made in slightly different ways, in somewhat different relationships; but pretty much the same story. Just a new version each time. 

I’ve been given the opportunity in this process to come face-to-face with the roles I’ve repeatedly played over the years: the effusive caregiver; the lenient, understanding lover; the tolerant, forgiving wife; the “nice girl”; the empathetic friend.

There’s nothing wrong with these … except when used to avoid painful emotions, a violation of some sort … a sting to your heart.

Since childhood, these roles have been my golden shield, protecting me, ricocheting the penetration of betrayal, manipulation, judgment, and not feeling entirely loved, accepted, or cared for.

They’ve kept me safe from truly experiencing the full range of my feelings. It has been a way to numb out in some respects … without even noticing.

When a hint of anger would enter my throat, I’d swallow it down, place that nice girl shield in front of me and absorb my tears, letting them swim quietly inside.

Lovers have seemed confused by the calm veneer when they might've been a bit shady and exclaimed, "It's OK to be upset! Aren't you upset? You're not mad at me?" Friends have nearly yelled, "Why aren't you ANGRY!?"

The shield has been so intricately integrated inside of my veins, in my marrow, that I didn't even think I was covering rage. I truly had no clue. And I'm only now beginning to see this truth.

That's because the shield is not effective; it just allows me to not take the full hit of hurt.

Part of this comes from an intertwined and rooted inner story that demands perfection.

This story says: If I stay true to these roles, maybe then I’ll be accepted. Good enough to be loved on the raw days when dullness comes over me, when my bones are tired and an inner-ache softly cries, yearning to be gently held, then told - genuinely - that I'm beautiful.

Maybe then, all my flaws – my size, this body – will be overlooked and I won’t hear that old diatribe that slithers through self-love and hisses: “See … there's a reason you weren't chosen. You won’t ever be enough. Look at you! You were warned about this your whole life. Maybe this time, if you lose the weight you’ve gained it will be better. Someone might see past your size. What makes you think being exactly who you are right NOW is enough?”

This gets triggered when a scab, nearly healed, gets picked ... an event that loops you back, reminding you of the web of patterns you've created and played a role in.

As challenging as it is to write this (even embarrassing), I know I am not alone.

So many of us feel similarly from time to time.

Most of us, probably.

Our culture, society, familial structures, churches, and even school systems teach us to compare ourselves to others, to measure our worth against something or someone outside of ourselves.

Rarely are we taught that our imperfections are just as sacred and holy as the magnificent light within us. Rarely are we taught that it’s OK or safe to fully own and express all of our feelings, like a musical scale, singing each note – whether sharp or flat – accepting the range of them in any moment as a way to honor and nurture ourselves while recognizing that we are truly beautiful – scabs, tired bones, and all.

These patterns and roles that I’ve clung to throughout my life are reaching their hands out, asking to be dissolved along with the marriage.

And that’s hard. Scary. Change would be required.

It means truly feeling and acknowledging painful emotions. It means creating firmer boundaries.

It means ripping off the masks of being nice all the time: because I am not always nice, forgiving, lenient, understanding, free of judgment, or compassionate! I absolutely can be selfish, self-centered, and wrapped up in my teensy little world.

… But most of all, it means letting go and trusting that I AM really enough. Just as I am right now.

I have choices to make.

Will I allow myself to be imperfect, to feel rage along with ecstasy, and be true to myself, knowing my real worth?

Will I release, with love, relationships that no longer nourish?

Because this is life, right?

We are imperfect.

There will always be scabby little scars.

And that is OK. In fact, that’s more than OK. It’s the place where we can pour our love the most.

So as I begin to dissolve these patterns and roles and very slowly lay down my golden shield – and as you join me to do the same – it feels that there will be a place of inner warmth and embrace, holding us, loving us, and cherishing us.

There, we will hear the whisper: “You are enough.”

Sunday, August 2, 2015


I am not monogamous.

I know. I know.
But here’s the thing…
I don’t think you’re monogamous, either.
…Not really.

When we talk about monogamy, we usually frame it within the context of sexual exclusivity. And that got me thinking: What does it truly mean to be monogamous? Is it just about being intimate with only one person?


While we don’t discuss it much, there is the expectation that monogamy includes being emotionally exclusive. So ... what does that mean, exactly?

…That’s where things get a little tricky.

Because if monogamy means that once I love you, there is an unspoken “rule” that I must cease loving anyone else I have ever loved before … then I am not monogamous.

If we’re stingingly honest, that’s precisely what most of us want: For someone to – in essence – forsake each person they loved before meeting us and now lay their loving claim in the center of our hearts forevermore. Amen.

We want to be The Only One Loved. At least currently, right?

Come on … admit it.

The thought of our beloved still loving, on some level, another person makes our stomach curl and twist. Our faces scrunch in jealousy. We feel young – and not in a good way.  

We want to tightly cling and hold onto the person we love. We want to yank their memory away from any other person they could possibly have loved in their lifetime – ever – and snatch them back into our embrace, then build a high, thick wall around it so NO ONE CAN ENTER!

We want to be The One Who is Loved. Right? We are afraid, really. We are afraid that if love is expansive and doesn't come with an expiration date, then we cannot be The Chosen One. We feel that tinge of competition and fear that somehow we are not enough, that we do not measure up. That our beloved loves someone else more than us. That the other was better than us in some way. 

But we want to be The Best. The Most Loved. The Most Important. The Alpha!

I get it. I have been there. Many times. I still feel that.

…Which causes a teensy problem for me, because here’s the truth:

Once I love someone, I simply always love them.


Nooo …. Not in a freaky stalker kind of way. Sorry to disappoint! 

You can see the conundrum here. The hypocrisy, even. (Hey, we're all imperfectly human.)

The love I have for others is not based upon the “success” or so-called “failure” of the relationship (or even friendship for that matter!); it’s not conditioned upon whether their happiness includes me being part of their life.

If I loved you, then I will forever love you. No matter what. It’s unconditional.

Does that mean I remain romantically IN LOVE with every man I was in love with before?

Does that mean I wish I was still with each one of the men?

Love takes on different forms, though. It shifts, changes shapes. It can move from romantic, passionate love to a more distant, friendship-type love. In fact, it can even turn into a familial love … like the version I have for my ex-husband.

We know this to be true because we can feel the variations, the different tones of love within our current relationships. We can feel how there are times our love is so passionate for our beloved, it's as though a symphony is playing a beautiful, grand romantic tune. At other times, there is a lull and well ... it's kind of a sugary, superficial pop song in the background. 

So while I continue to love each man I have loved before, let’s be clear: That does not mean I want to invite all my exes over for Thanksgiving and Kumbaya with them. My dad did that one year and I thought it was a bit awkward. Just saying. (Sorry dad! Love you!)

In fact, I may actually feel quite strongly that it’s best some of them not be part of my life at all.

Yet, if I saw an ex in the store or at a festival, I would light up and give him a hug. I would genuinely be interested in how he's doing and wish him well. Isn’t that a form of love?

If his father died or he got ill and reached out to me, I would be there to support him any way I could.

If monogamy requires or makes it uncomfortable for me to do that … then I am not monogamous.

I used to believe that good, nice girls who loved their partner would never think twice about someone they had once cared deeply for or loved.

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that if I really loved my boyfriend/husband, then it would not matter one iota whether an ex was happy or not. You’re supposed to stop caring about them, right?

In fact, our culture has a subversive message that tells us we can only truly love ONE person in our lives. Ever. 

It’s the story that tells us about: The One and Only; The One True Love; The One Soulmate. So, if you thought you loved someone before, and now find yourself in a different relationship, you have the sudden realization that you never actually loved the other. Not REALLY. Not like this new love.

You know what I’m talking about. Our culture immediately tells us to dismiss the possibility of having loved more than one person in our lifetime. At minimum, it tells us we have to severely compare and measure our love for one person against the other. Unless that person was from our kindergarten days. But anyone after 9th grade? Fuggetaboutit.

While we never actually SAY we are supposed to stop caring about people from our past, we expect it. We expect it from ourselves and we most certainly expect it from our beloved. That belief shapes our societal views of relationships and our capacity to love and defines loyalty. We don’t talk about it. It’s just understood.

Well, my experiences have not matched what our culture tells us it should. 

I never stopped caring for and loving those I once did.

Sometimes, I wonder how so and so is and hope he is fishing a lot – because he loves it. Or I hope that someone else is still acting and doing voice overs. I might imagine him playing soccer or listening to reggae, smiling. Is he still an excellent cook? Does he think of me when he hears Macy Grey or drinks a chai? Did he regret not finishing law school? Is he safe? Was he deployed overseas during the war? Is he happy?

I think of them. Even if I don’t speak to them. I thought of them when I was married or in relationships and felt guilty for not following "the rules." And though I probably did not need to hide that I continued contact with a couple of men, I did. And by hiding that, I hid part of who I am - part of who I think we ALL are - someone capable, innately, of loving many people, for many different reasons and in many different ways, all at the same time. 

And I love those men still. Just differently.

We are socialized to believe that love is a possession and is rare.
We collectively believe that we must claim ownership to it before it runs out.
We fear we won’t get many chances to experience it.

But that is not true!

My beautiful friend, Love is everywhere. We have opportunities at each moment to embody it.  

…I fall in love multiple times a day. Often just for a few seconds. I’m not joking.

I fall in love with the stranger driving along the road, singing.
I fall in love with the homeless man on the corner who plays his guitar and never asks anyone for money.
I fall in love when someone hands him money and I see their face light up and in return, the homeless man’s face becomes the face of God.
I fall in love with the man who holds his daughter's hand as skips down a busy sidewalk with a smile wide as the sky.
I fall in love when a friend rambles and makes no sense.
I fall in love with whoever makes me laugh so hard, I snort. (And let me tell you, that happens quite often.)
I fall in love with the moon. I fall in love with the stars and the sunset.
I fall in love with a really good piece of chocolate.

Love is in everything. 

There is no shortage of it.

And when we love ourselves, then by default, we enter a relationship with another that is NOT monogamous! (Because then you’re immediately loving two people: yourself and the Other. HA!)

There are not limitations on love. There are not expiry dates on it, either.

Love itself is not monogamous. Love loves everything and everyone.

Love is not something you capture and own. It is not a possession. It is not a One and Only.

It just is.

It is what we are made of. It is the essence of who we are.

So if monogamy means that I cannot radiate the abundance of love I have within me and share it with others – even in friendship – then I am not monogamous.

And I doubt you are, too.

P.S. I love you. YES. YOU! 

Monday, July 6, 2015


I have something to tell you.
Are you listening?
I hope you’re listening.
Because this is important.

This is about life.
This is about love.
This is about how you cut yourself short.
This is about how you think you’re undeserving.

See, most of us go around acting like there’s a limited supply of love.

You think that if you capture the essence of love, if you love someone – and especially if you think they love you back – you must CLAIM them. OWN them. Wrap them - this love - around you so tightly that there’s no chance of it ever being freed.


Because you might not get the chance again.
Because it might be the only loving meal that with sustain you.

THIS love … once it’s gone, it’s gone.
No second chances.

It’s the law of supply and demand.
Low love supply + high demand = an outrageous, treacherous, risky, high price.

Love becomes dangerous.

The belief goes like this: Since there’s not enough love around and since we have to be perfect to be lovable, chances are, we aren’t going to “get” it … as though Love is a commodity.

So we hold out. Hang back. Withhold our hearts.

Not out of wisdom, not when we know we should let go, but out of fear of being undeserving.

We think we have to be perfect to be loved.
Lose weight.
Have a good job.
Follow the rules.
More. Less.

We feel isolated from others. Cut off. Separate. Alone ... and don't admit it.

Yet we refuse to see our part in this. How we refuse to lay our vulnerabilities down and instead create distance and build walls. We’re unwilling to expose ourselves - our humanity and our bright light - to become emotionally intimate.

I’m here to tell you there is no love shortage.
Love never runs out. It’s not a fossil fuel.
(We’re all acting like it is … but it isn’t.)

Instead, we scavenge around on the rotten beliefs that have been thrown at us. Beliefs of what Love is supposed to look like. Ideas that love means complete attachment. That you must cling, hold on tightly, beg, and grasp onto one another.

Love doesn’t bind to anything. It’s the light weight of an ethereal feather kissing your soft cheek.

It’s a lover looking deeply into your eyes, seeing past your detachment, the ways you shut down and hide away, but loving you still.

It’s a mother recognizing her child’s worth and loving them – without condition – even when they make mistakes. Especially when they make mistakes.

It’s the ability to know that in our humanity, we’re sometimes cracked, wounded AND also divinely luminescent, shining, and capable to be the conduit of all love.

We’re afraid to rip off every mask. We’re afraid to cut open our vulnerable heart and let the very rawness of our humanity be seen in its total mess.

Because let’s face it: We all have stories. We all carry deep hurts. And there’s NOTHING WRONG with this. There’s nothing wrong with your imperfections. There’s nothing wrong with YOU.

Can you accept this? Can you take this into your heart and truly feel it?

Oh, it’s hard for me to do.
It’s hard for most of us to do.

Look at our planet.

Look at the children screaming for attention.
Look at our relationships barely surviving the push and the pull game.
Look at the ways we think we’re different from eachother … so different that we need bombs, guns, rape, knives that cut off heads … because we pray to a different god. Because we have different colors of skin. Because we live in different neighborhoods.

Can you not see how our world is screaming out, aching for love?

Our world trills and tremors with this idea that there is not enough love to go around.

THIS is the tragedy ... only because the love we seek is here always. It is within us. It surrounds us. We are it.

Love is not complicated.

Love is not a painful scream.
Love is not dangerous.
Love is not a risk.

Love just IS. It’s around us, always, ready for us to access. Ready for us to pull it inside of our hearts and simply see one another, our world, and ourselves through it.

Love doesn’t demand attention (even when we do). It doesn’t have to.

Love lives on the tip of your tongue. Love is in the curl of your ear. Love is in the way you throw your head back when you laugh. Love is in the way you look at your beloved pet.

It accepts.
It sees.
It recognizes.
It embraces – but does not bind.
It just kisses you and loves you and lets all be.

It’s not about the outcome.

It’s not afraid. It doesn’t shut down.

And it doesn’t take giant steps away.

It just is.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Surrendering to the Unknown

The Unknown is a tricky place. It’s full of … well … unknowns. It’s vast and wide open.

The structured, tidy World of Certainty feels more comfortable, fixed. A linear path is set-out with clear instructions and all you have to do is follow them so that you get from Point A to Point B … with ease, of course; there are no surprises in the World of Certainty, right? It’s sterile, clean, and you know exactly where you’re going and how you’re getting there.

Oh, but when you open the door that leads you into The Unknown, where the path is not clearly set, it’s like stepping out into an expansive, dark galaxy. What’s out there? How will you know where you’re going? What will be revealed? And when?

The simple truth is, you have no way of knowing. Not really.

The only way to navigate this vastness is to listen to your inner truth, your North Star, your intuition, and trust it. Trust it with all that you have, believing that things will unfold the way they’re meant.

I’d like to live in the World of Certainty, but the only thing I’m certain of is that it doesn’t exist. Not really.

Being a solopreneur, creating a unique business from the ashes of divorce, I’d really like to know – with certainty – what my monthly income will be. I’d really like a guarantee that clients will be attracted to me, to this work. I’d really like to know that there are no unknowns … that this path I’ve chosen for my life will be clear.

But I don’t.

I chose the path of uncertainty when I decided to combine my passions, gifts, and talents into a career so that I could be of service to others. That’s all I want to do. It’s part of my purpose; if I was a millionaire, I’d still do this work. When I made that choice, I slammed opened the door and stepped right in the middle of the Great Unknown. (I mean, hello. It's a little crazy for a single mom returning from living overseas, just splitting from her husband, to follow her dreams, right?)

I’m learning that the only way to navigate this place is to surrender. To be humble. To surrender to my intuition, my inner guidance, the Universe, to the Goddess, to God … whatever word you choose. It means taking the time to be silent and still so I can listen to my gut – without my mind chattering away telling me what I “should” be doing –  then follow it, even when it seems illogical, trusting that things will evolve and become clear as I continue surrendering to the unknown.

A few weeks ago, I was 90% certain the smart thing to do was to press “pause” on the Writing to Wholeness workshops I offer adults. The number of attendees was dwindling; it made logical sense to stop during the summer and restart in the fall. Yet, as I sat in stillness, it became clear that I should continue them over the summer … and actually create and add workshops for children. And so I am.

I have no idea what will happen along the way or if people will sign up, but I’m running them anyway.

A few days after I surrendered to that moment of clarity, I arrived at the venue for the Writing to Wholeness workshops. 15 minutes passed. I sat alone in the empty conference room of the coffee shop, about to leave. I wondered what the purpose was of me continuing with these workshops if no one came. Why would my intuition tell me to have them when I was sitting in the room by myself? 

And then I had the strong sense that it didn’t matter if anyone showed up or not to the workshop … because I did.

I showed up for myself. I showed up in devotion to being of service to others, whether they came or not.

In the past, sitting alone in a conference room, without any attendees, would've mortified me. I would've been deeply embarrassed. Ashamed. I would’ve felt like a complete failure and questioned if I needed to quit everything I've been building. There is no way I would’ve told you – or anyone else – about this.

But, instead, I felt proud for showing up. I felt proud that I listened to my intuition, even though I didn't understand what was going on. 

Within minutes, one person arrived. We held the workshop together. My heart was filled with gratitude and humility. I felt initiated.

I have no idea what will transpire and reveal itself in this expansive unknown, but I’m here. I’m showing up. And I’ve surrendered. And I trust that whatever comes is meant to come.

What are you willing to let go of so that you can enter this great space of the unknown, trusting that it will work out in the way that is best for you?