Our Next Breath

Our only guarantee is our next breath.  Anything beyond that is not a given.  Life can change fast.  The phone could ring, a knock on the door, a heart attack, an earthquake, a tsunami, anything. Or it could amazing…the love of my life could be the one knocking, the phone call could be a grandchild on the way, maybe win the lottery, a longed for promotion, again anything.  But life would change. So here is what we have, right now, this moment.  And how we spend is what makes up our life.

This is not intended to give the impression that we should live each moment in terror, fear or anticipation of what could happen next.  Its more to awaken ourselves to all the possibilities and very preciousness of our days.  Each time I see you could be my last, how do I want to leave that?  What things am I leaving unsaid?  What am I taking for granted? Your friendship, your love, the blue sky, my next breath?

I know I cannot live without some semblance of security and comfortableness.  To live at such a high level of intensity would defeat the very pieces of my life I find comforting, relaxing and joyful.  But what I can do is recognize everything is fluid, everything will change and appreciate the moments I am given. I can spend these moments in love, grace, humility, and gratefulness.  If I can let those features fill my moments then I will have lived a blessed life.

Inhale, exhale and live in joy…………..


Make a New Agreement

heart in  treeWe can change our minds at anytime about anything.  Last night a friend  made this simplest of statements ” I know I said yes to this, but now I am saying no”.  We were talking about attachments and at that point we were discussing relationships and the unspoken agreements we make to stay in relationships.  And how we become attached to those agreements long past their expiration date.

But the simplicity of just being able to say no.  Can I do that?  It sounds so freeing.  I don’t want to explain, I don’t want to justify, I don’t need a reason. I could just say” I know I said yes to this , but now I am saying no.”  I can  make a new agreement that better fits my needs today.  We don’t have to stay in old agreements when they no longer serve us.  Or when they did not create what we wanted in our lives.

Relationships are our greatest teachers, they hit places in us that nothing else can touch.  We show our vulnerabilities, we place ourselves positions that open us up for hurt and also great joy.  And relationships are where our agreements are the hardest to change.  From family to friends to lovers we have different agreements with everyone.  And the other player has made their own agreements.  Sometimes we get stuck and we don’t know how to change it. So we stay, we dwell in that place that no longer serves our greatest good.

Here’s the good news, we have a mantra now.  “I know I said yes to this, but now I am saying no.”  Say it to yourself, believe it and act as if it is already so.  Let’s see what happens, it will shake things up.  Create a new agreement, a better one.  The one that fits the person you are today.  Life is creation, go create.



Attachment 101 part II; Love

How attached am I to your view of me?  How much does that view affect my self love? And why do hold on to this attachment?  Questions in my homework tonight….

I try to hold my view and assessment of myself separate from how the world at large sees me, even how my friends see me.  But do I succeed?  Not really. I know I judge myself according to what you think.  Not all the time, not in every way but it does matter.  If you think I am good, well I feel a little better. And if you think I am bad or wrong I feel a little worse.  I can work my out of it but it is not automatic. And when its good, well I just take it, so your opinion overrides my own.  And that is not ok. My opinion should be enough.

We grow up this way.  Pleasing mommy and daddy and the teachers and our playmates.  Be nice, be kind, don’t be loud, don’t speak your mind.  There’s a good girl, we like you this way. You blend right in, society likes that.  A man will want you, a man will love you, then you will matter. We twist ourselves into something else to be loved.    No one ever told me to love myself.  A lot of people told me they loved me, but all of them had conditions around that.  They loved when… they loved me if…   they loved me because…. And I attached myself to their opinions, to be worthy of love.

I am just as guilty.  I love you because… I love you when….I love you if you love me, that is a big one.  We make that agreement with another.  Does that feel real?  At that moment yes, but at some point the masks come off.  But we do it, we all want to be loved, probably more than we want to love.  And then love becomes a commodity and we have to earn it.  And we have to dance just right to keep it.  They could take it away and then what? What’s left?

Maybe what is left is self love, where we should have started.  The love that is our birthright.  Our first love, our self.  If we love ourselves without the conditions and the judgement maybe we can be free to love others the same way.  I would like to do that.  The closest I come is my son and my sister. I simply love them. They do not have to dance for my love.  I just love them soul to soul.  Can I take that feeling and love myself?  Can I take that feeling and love another? I would like to, I am working on it.   First love myself, and then clearly, cleanly and unconditionally be able to love another.


Gentle on my Mind

Gentle on my mind.  The phrase is stuck inside my head these days.  The phrase comes from an old song.  I was thinking about a friend on Friday and that phrase came to mind.  There is a calmness now when I think of him. There is a sense of peace and rightness that makes him gentle on my mind.  I can tell you it has not always been this way, there has usually  some distress, some anxiety, some unsettled energy around him.  But something shifted last week, and for now, he is gentle on my mind.  And it feels good, and feels right.

I have no illusions that it will last forever.  Life does not work that way.  But for today I am enjoying the freedom from my monkey mind. I want to expand that, I want life itself to just be “gentle on my mind”.  Can I do with others, can I do that with situations?  What a beautiful phrase, a wonderful gift to give myself.  Did we lose that somewhere, the gentleness, the slower pace, the kindness?  Life became harsher, society is dog eat dog,  climb to the top, road rage.

I just want to slow the fuck down. I want more than just this one man to be gentle on my mind. I want it simple, I want it honest, I want it real. Take off the masks, quit playing the games.  I know it starts with me. And it has already begun.  I strive to be honest and real. I don’t have time for the games.  I will tell you the truth, even if my voice shakes. But I absolutely get caught up into the chaos of the world. I am learning to step back.  Last week I took time for myself.  I ended up spending hours in solitude and it was the best thing for me.  At the end of a crazy week where I struggled for peace, I found that spot where someone could be “gentle on my mind.”

May someone somewhere be Gentle on Your Mind………….


You are the Sky

Great quote and if you have not experienced Pema Chodron you are missing out.  Today, I am holding this thought in my mind. All the circumstances, the situations, the feelings and emotions: weather.  I am the sky. Bigger than all of that. Yesterday I let the world swirl me around a little.  I did take control and ended up where and how I needed to be.  But I had to consciously work to get there.  Today I seek ease and grace. Today I remember that all of the storms, winds and even the sun are circumstances here to show me life in all its facets.  Headed out now, to be the sky, and to observe the weather dance across my life.


Daily Life, Inspiration

No Bad Days

“No Bad Days”, a mantra I have with a friend.  We say it to others but it is a bond between us.  So I was thinking today, really?? no bad days?  Are we being blase about this, a little cavalier?  Surely there must be bad days, everyone has them right?  Car breaks down, someone is sick, a check  bounces, and worse.  Someone dies, a divorce, a heartbreak, things are going to happen and we call those things bad.

But lets think about this. My belief is that EVERYTHING come from a Universal energy source. Many people call it God, Allah, One MInd, Universal Energy, the list goes on, I think my favorite is The Beloved. It does not matter what you call It,  you can call it Sam or Samantha for that matter.  The point is everything comes from Source. And everything from Source is good, everything from Source is Love. So nothing can be bad. 

It can appear bad. But that is a judgement we as humans put on a given situation.   The truth is that life can be painful, sad, scary, lonely, distressing, angry, and more. But are those things bad?  They are lessons.  Everyone of those feelings is the other side of joy, happiness, safety, freedom, well being, loving and more. We have to have that balance in our lives to know the good.  You cannot see light without darkness, the shadows, the intensities, that is what shows us depth, both in our souls and in our lives.

Every time we dig down and survive, every time we surface in gratitude we grow.  We become stronger, wiser and more compassionate.  I can see you, I can see your pain and I know  the pain, anger, sadness, anguish, this IS NOT THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE.  The truth is YOU ARE LOVE,  You (and I) are here to love, to learn, to grow, to teach, to be The Beloved here on earth. And the Beloved does not have bad days.  Hard days, yes, teaching days, yes, growing days, yes.  But these are not bad, they are the experiences that make us strong, wise and human.  They give us balance and take us home.  

So yes, I can say ” No Bad Days”.

Daily Life

Attachment 101

I am taking a new class.  It is a short 4 week class on the book The 5 Levels of Attachment by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.  I have read about half the book now.  If you have read anything by Don Miguel you know have to read it over and over.  I have read the 4 Agreements so many times I can quote it (in my sleep).  But each time it goes deeper and I have more understanding.  I think that is how The 5 Levels of Attachment will be.  I have only had one class, but as soon as it was offered I jumped at the chance to take it.  Because I attach easily and I am not sure why.

It helps me to have a formula to recognize my roles and how I am playing them out.  I don’t want to go over the book too much (you can read and decide for yourself).  For me, to be able to say I am at level 1 or 3 or 2 helps me step outside the situation and gives me some breathing room. A moment to assess and recognize where I am at and if is this where I want to be.

I have one big attachment right now.  Sure, its a relationship one.  If I could just let go of the fantasy I have built around this person and the future my life would be better.  I am trying, but it keeps coming back for different reasons. When I look at this situation unemotionally it is nothing I want, so let it go right? Easier said than done.  Do I just want to win? Do I want to be right? Do I want the power that comes with surrender from another? Do I want to believe that love conquers all?  Is this even love, probably not. It might be about control.  Isn’t it enough to just control my own life, do I have to direct all players in it also?  That is tiring and really doesn’t work.  People are going to do their own thing, I know I am.

It So this is another journey, this dis-attaching. I am thinking start small, get some skills and work up to the larger issues. I know my life will be more joyful, calmer and closer to Spirit once I clean house.  Another way of letting go and being more authentic, more free, more open to the truth. Clarity, seeing myself as I really am, this is the goal. Wish me luck, this one is going to take some time.


Dancing with the Divine

Neither this body am I, nor soul,
Nor these fleeting images passing by,
Nor concepts and thoughts, mental images,
Nor yet sentiments and the psyche’s labyrinth.
Who then am I?
A consciousness without origin,
Not born in time, nor begotten here below.
I am that which was, is and ever shall be,
A jewel in the crown of the Divine Self,
A star in the firmament of the luminous One. ~Rumi 

Oh how easy is it to forget we are simply Spirit, made of God. We are Divine Mind, the Universal One.  And we cling desperately to our humanness. There are moments we remember who we are, dip our soul into the Infinite and breathe Spirit.  But we flee back to the body, back to the monkey mind, back to the familiar.  Our ego wants to be defined by our belief in our individuality, that we are special, there is no one like me.  When I define as Spirit then I am you and you are me and we are one. There is no separation. We are the fingers on the hand, the waves of the ocean.  Do I become less or more?  It is more, so much more, and yet I cling to my very human nature as a shield, not wanting to lose the little I know of myself.  More and more I am willing to remember who I am and dance with Spirit. 


I like survivors.  Not necessarily live survivors, just survivors in general.  I like people who have some scars, who have been through hard times and come out on the other side.  For one thing, they give me hope, they help me believe that pushing through the pain is worth it. For another thing they help me feel not alone. I am not the only one.  I like people with cracks, people who have a story to tell and are honest with it. They are the most interesting people. Dress yourself up, smooth yourself over, hide your cracks, and you take away the very thing that makes you human, that makes you connected.  

Sometimes surviving is big,  We lose a loved one, a marriage fails, a job falls apart, illness appears. You name your own big one. A pet dies, a home is lost, the list goes on.  And somehow we survive.  The big survivals take enormous effort but we get a lot of support around those.  Friends rally, family is there.  There is an outpouring of help. So we make it through. We survive.

But what about the small survivals, the daily survivals?  How somehow we paid the bills this month.  How the car got fixed, a broken arm was healed.  A friendship lost and found again. Words that wounded and were forgiven. A lost love, a betrayal. Those small survivals they are the test of character.  Do we have what it takes to move past the roadblocks and bumps in our lives day after day? Can we still rise in the morning knowing that today could be the magical day, the blessed day?  Each day is our own opportunity for joy and love. Can we search for those ideals in the midst of our survivals?  Yes when we are the Survivors.  

And that is why I love the Survivors, you show me the way.  I know I am not alone.  I get it that life is not perfect. I have cracks all over me.  I fill them with love. And I see you, with all your cracks, with all your bruises. I see the pain in your eyes replaced by joy when you look upon your loves and I am uplifted. I am inspired. I don’t care if you are on the street, a CEO, or my best friend. If you show me that you have taken those blows and still search for joy and love then you are my inspiration. 

Here is to the Survivors, may we know them, may we love them, may we be them.

Daily Life


I feel like I am waiting for something.  I am not sure what.  Things have changed so much for me in the last 2 years.  I have gone from living in a family home with my son and his girlfriend to a granny unit over a garage at a house where I am a stranger.  I have gone from caring for my son, our dogs and my mother to caring only for myself. My mom is gone now, my dad also. My sister and I used to live around the block from each other, now we are separate, but still in the same town. I often feel lost, I often feel alone

.  Yes on the surface it looks good.  I have a good job, a sister who is my best friend, a son who loves me, beautiful close friends that I spend time with, safe housing in a well maintained environment among friendly people who welcome me, a church I resonate with and that gives me acceptance and guidance and the security of living in a community where I have grown, and raised a family.  I cannot walk into a place and not feel familiar with someone. So what is my problem?

This is another transition and I am getting older and running out of time.  I never really feel this is it, I am at the place I belong.  I didn’t feel it in my marriage.  I knew someday I would lose my home. We all know someday our parents will pass.  When I lived with my son and my heart daughter I knew it was temporary. Each job has been a stop along the way.  Even friends change with time.  Almost always I keep my friends but circumstances and rhythms of our lives change. I have never,  in any romantic relationship, known that forever kind of feeling. Maybe when I was starry eyed 18 and a bride, but that changed and at some point i knew that we were not destined for forever.

All of those situations have brought me to today, and I have mostly loved and appreciated the moments.  There have been very hard times, painful times that have taken my breath and left me on my knees.  Even those times have a tragic beauty that have shown me new doors.  There is a saying “With each loss comes freedom.”.  Man, is that true for me.  I have never been so free, so unencumbered, so open for life to come in.  For the first time, I think in my life, it is just me.  My last vestiges of responsibility were stripped from me last year when I lost my home and walked away from all I had known and built.   So now what?  I feel alone, sometimes it is very freeing and almost exciting.  But I am getting older and I feel like time is slipping away.  I want to find my place and I want that forever kind of love. Are those things not for me in this lifetime? Is that one of my lessons?  I don’t know, I keep trying, I keep my mind and my heart open but the days pass and then the weeks and then the months.

This is not to say I sit around sad and lonely, that is not the case.  Each day is full and the hours fly.  I sleep good and my only true concern is financial, and don’t most of us feel that.  I am a happy person with a joyful spirit.  But there a darkness to each of us. To deny that is to bury it.  It will come for me one way or another.  I would rather sit in the darkness for a minute knowing it is my friend and here to teach me.  That way I can step into the light cleanly not afraid, just acknowledging there are many sides to myself. I love them all.

So now I set out on my day. It happens to be Sunday, there is church, a birthday, a meet up with my son, good food, good love, good friends.  My goodness surrounds me.  And during this transition I will celebrate, enjoy and await my next adventure, hoping to find my place and my forever love.