Going Home

I am literally going home for the holidays and so much more.  In a few weeks I will be purchasing the house I was raised in and making it my own home.  Returning to the familiar spaces and the decades of memories, I will be coming full circle.

As I look at the divinity of this opportunity I am reminded again and again that there is such a plan, or a map, that we so often cannot see and yet, we try so hard to plan and navigate this plan by usually pushing and pulling.  Really, to let go and allow life to unfold is the lesson I return to over and over.

When my girl was young and the disability was becoming more and more evident,  I saw in my mind a home someday where there would be a “house with a house”.  A small cottage for her to live as independently as possible and yet be close enough to be supported.  A house with a house that shares a yard for her dog and for mine. A place to grow.

My soon to be new home has this.

When I began to wake up and when I realized the importance of my spirituality, I visualized a space for mediation, yoga and stillness.  Each place I have lived in recent years I have created a scared space for practice. Yearning for less chaos in my life and more time at home, I have been seeing how to increase my home studio sessions and create a large yoga space.

My soon to be new home has this.

While I have been on the path to self-discovery and healing over the past decade, I have spent hours in therapy and delving deep into a variety of self-help books. I have travelled to distant places to bridge a broken place with my father.  I have set boundaries with my brother and I have begun to see the tender side of my mom.  I have nurtured the little girl within me by taking up dance, being more playful and recognizing the wounded places.  I have been very active in healing what needs to be healed and looking for opportunities to continue to allow light to come through the shadows.

My soon to be new home has this.

As an adult, I have found nature to be so grounding.  Getting lost on a trail or muddying up my hands in a garden are the connections to nature that soothes my soul.  I have anticipated a home near nature and with a yard that will feed me in this way.

My soon to be new home has this.

I have envisioned a space for me to consult others on their journey.  I have begun to work more with energy work and look to take my teachings that direction.  What better place to assist others in healing than in my childhood bedroom space? Four walls that will bring me back to my purpose.  My little baby body sleeping in that 12×12 room, the young girl dreaming her dreams,the awkward teen wanting to be seen and the woman who once packed her things and left.

In all senses of the phrase “going home”, I am.  I am going there.  There has always been this plan, or this map–I just did not realize the roads that I would travel to make my way home.


This was not just about losing weight.  This was about reclaiming my life.  This was about peeling away the layers and layers of armor that eventually led me to reveal my true self—not just in physical form, but in the complete essence of myself.  My truth.

Certainly I am proud of my weight-loss and development of healthy habits, but I am more proud of the discovery of who I am.  Not only did I shed pounds, I let go of unwanted and unneeded thoughts and beliefs about myself. I began to take ownership of my decisions and choices.

While I spent years clearing out the dark corners of my soul, I was creating space for an emerging of light that this discovery would soon change my entire world. I eliminated clutter in my physical world and in my mind.  My thoughts went from distorted and unhealthy to clear and deliberate.

So long ago, I did not see the sadness in my eyes.  Perhaps the sadness was hidden behind the demands of raising three young children.  I easily put my needs last. One might say I did this out of fatigue, but I see now I put myself last out of necessity.  I was not ready or yet capable to start the process of eliminating the walls I had created.  Hidden behind the extra 80 pounds was a woman just beginning to ask the questions one asks when on the verge of waking up.

The more I asked, the more I lost.  The most I lost, the more I gained.  The more I gained, the richer my life became.  The more space I cultivated within for the quiet whisperings to be heard.  The expansiveness of my soul became the soothing balm rather than food and fear.

I recall in detail the time when I began to wake up from the long slumber of self-neglect.  I was walking on a cold spring day and I began to hear the thoughts of peace enter my mind.  I started to change the way I thought about my life and myself.

In an instant I took ownership.  I claimed my health, my body, my spirituality and my purpose.

And just like that, my life began to change.


Pleasant Street

Earlier in the year when I moved to a small bungalow on a street called Pleasant. Immediately I imagined what fall would look like on this beautiful and delightfully pleasant street. With trees sixty or more years old, the canopy that covers the street at the peak of summer is downright glorious.

Now the season of autumn is in full swing and I watch as the trees have morphed into a show of color.  The wind whips the leaves around the street as the crisp and chilly air reminds you that the shortened days means more nights of wood fires and belly-warming stews.

I anticipated this view for months where the change is in full glory and the letting go seems effortless. Nature is such a teacher. IMG_8169-1


Enough is enough I say.

Not too many months ago I was living in the glory of my own badassery skills and fully confident in not only my astounding technique of dicing out the bullshit from others and seeking truth, but also in my ability to love myself. I was proud of my accomplishments, my path, my truth and even my dark places.

It seems however that the last few months rather than reveling in the warrior light that I am, I have been spinning myself in circles while staying stuck in the shadows in search of some magical tool.

Wait a second. Nothing needs fixed. Polished and shined up from time to time–yes!  But I have forgotten that the magic already exists beneath the sometimes tarnished surface.

I am the magic.

I am the girl who is a seeker. I am wise and savvy. I am the woman who embodies compassion and love.  I am the bright light in the world of many dark spaces.  I am beautiful and I am funny. I am a giver of grace.  I am sassy and vibrant.  I am a soul that walks the path of truth.  I am integrity and diligence.  I yearn for equality and inclusion.  I am one with nature. I am the biggest fan of the underdog.  I am light.

I am also scared and vulnerable.  I am afraid to ask for help.  I struggle to receive. I beg myself to lessen the intensity and accept joy. I am far too critical of myself.  I am lost at times.  I long to let love in.

Enough is enough.

Self-help books can be put aside and the long sleepless nights of searching for answers can be replaced with meaningful passages of grace and with luscious sleeps of renewal.  Days of worry can be restored with contagious bouts of laughter and connection.  A life of fear can be revived with a life of bliss.

Those glorious things could never possibly be enough.

My Story, My Ending

“The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead, they own us, they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending—to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.” ~Brene Brown

 When Brene Brown mentions being face down in the arena I can feel the dirt being kicked in my eyes. I can sense the weight of my burdens forcing me to rub my nose into the gravel.  I can completely imagine myself face down, in the arena, with the world watching.

Well, I am ready to dust off my britches and stand tall. I am prepared to wipe the sweat from my brow, clean up the bloody wounds and tend to my scars.

I intend to not deny the story, but to defy the ending. I am going to re-write my story.

No longer does my story need to detail the years of poverty and being a single mom scraping to make ends meet.  The story does not need characters that walk away or who give up.  I do not need to write on about the amount of stress and worry that my shoulders carry.  I will leave out the busy schedule that never gets a break.  I will most certainly edit the parts that include shame and criticism.

Instead, the story will be that of vibrancy and deep passion.  It will include laughter and joy.  I will write about purpose and gratitude. The experiences that my story will tell shall include a fury of intensity channeled into happiness and light.   The characters in my story will be honest, authentic, trustworthy and respectful.  The tale will be a happy ending where love is the guiding force that themes the pages.

I am ready.

My pen is out and I have a blank page before me.

Write on.

My Familiar Place

A particularly hard week begged me to come to my familiar place.  The place where miles and miles of the land hold my soul tenderly and where the trees know the secrets of my heart.

I chose today to return to this sacred place where I have walked hundreds of times; sometimes crying, sometimes laughing and yet most of the time in solitude.  This is place where I go to listen.

As I walked, I felt as though I was rising out of the valley that I have been residing in to enjoy a deep, long breath of rich air.  I stood atop the fields and embraced the morning sun.  I let the trees take my sorrow and I walked with a mission to clear my head. The familiar trails were held snuggly by overgrown scrub oak as if to assure me that I too am comforted by nature.

I come here to listen.  The voices of my past linger and the stillness of my knowing show up.


Let Go and Fly

I recently read a list of the top ten most stressful events of an adult life.  No wonder my sleep is so disturbed and my anxiety sneaks into my world when I least expect it.  No wonder I feel like I am in an emotional hurricane–at times I feel I am the furthest from the eye of the storm being just the observer of the chaos, and other times I am dead center in the eye.

Twelve months that include major life changes.

Of course I am an emotional mess.  Of course I have days where I feel like my white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel of my life is going to crack.  Of course I feel exhausted.  Of course I cry often. Of course I wake up in the early hours of the morning scared and alone.

Last year at this time I left my stable job that included a steady salary, retirement and health benefits. Not only the loss of the secure income I needed to adapt to, but I also had to navigate how I missed the connection to people.  It took many months for me to create a space that allowed me to feel connected to others and establish the time to foster the relationships that were meaningful to me.  I had to relearn what my day-to-day could look like. Although leaving my job was absolutely what I chose to do, the loss was much harder than I anticipated. From steady income to self-employed, from surrounded by colleagues to flying solo, from safety to unknown.

Early in the dark days of winter something inside me whispered that I was not to be held within the walls that I had allowed to be built.  There was more for my sweet soul to know and although it would require the most courage and strength and vulnerability I could tap into, I knew that I needed to move through it. I was feeling stuck and unhappy, torn between safety and commitment, and yet emotionally beaten down and unable to breathe and be free. I could take no more.  By spring, I was so exhausted from fighting the storm that I went deep into survival mode.  The primitive type where I gathered up only things that were most needed and I started fleeing.

The last four months I wake often in the night with my eyes and ears trying to adjust to the new space that I am in.  Fears lurks its ugly head.  Anxiety creeps in. I am caught between gratitude and appreciation for the space that I have made into my new nest, and being deeply aware that it is temporary and to get attached only means another thing to let go of.  The weight of finances coupled with the daily requirements of making sure that the finely oiled machine of our schedules runs smooth has been exhausting.  Not a day goes by where I am not aware of the responsibility that rests solidly on my shoulders.

Recent days I have allowed myself to acknowledge and recognize that I had three major events in the last twelve months that rocked my world. This does not mean I am a victim.  Nor does it mean that my bad-ass way of being can never crumble. It means that I must give myself permission to feel the losses and to ride the storm. I went from salary to self-employed, from partnered with someone to alone and from the barbie-dreamhouse to a temporary bungalow.  I left safety and security for authenticity and freedom.

All choices that I made.  All life-changing and all part of my path.

My prayer everyday is that I can know solace and peace.  I pray that I can be free from the shackles that hold me hostage.  I pray that I can tear down the walls that I have created. I pray that I can feel safe in all areas of my life.  I pray that I can trust and love and feel. I pray that I can fly from the storm and soar into a life of happiness.

It is all right there within my sight.

I say to myself today, “let go and fly”.


The Pot

For many, many years I have often thought of my internal state being that of a boiling pot of water.  Sometimes the water simmers and sometimes it is a raging boil.  The lid may slip off from time to time to allow some steam to release but for the most part I have keep the lid tightly sealed.

A lifetime of experiences and years of conscious choices to see the good and the potential in all situations has served me well and yet, the boiling water remained.  Always there under the surface of acceptance and gratitude.

Disability. Autism. Fear. Shame. Conditional love. Solitude. Survival. Abandonment. Fatigue. Gut-wrenching sadness. Grief.

Recently the day came when the pot erupted into an over-boil and the water scalded me and the all that raged inside me.  As if I was taking the lid off and pouring the wretched water out, I stepped into the deepest darkest caverns of my soul. I allowed any and all emotions to flood out as I poured this enormous pot of water out. Hot and blistering in its sensation, I conceded to its pain.

I cried. I sobbed. I yelled. I stomped.

I questioned God.

And then I withdrew into the emptiness of a pot no longer holding a lifetime of pain.  I sat in the stillness of a depleted and vacant space within my soul. Weakened by the rage and invigorated by the freedom of no longer holding the lid on tight, I felt empty.

In the space of barren feelings, I realized that being pissed off at the cards I was dealt is okay.  Certainly seeing the good in what the cards have offered me is healthy and a beautiful practice that I enjoy living, but denying myself to feel the pain has been destructive.  No more.

The vessel is dry and awaits to be filled with love and happiness.


Just Listen

The storm has blown over and while there has been definite chaos from the upheaval, I am working feverishly to rebuild my world.  I am working hard on myself and as Rumi says, my job is not to seek love but instead look at the walls I have built around it.

Recent bouts of rage and emotional upheaval have forced me to examine my deeply seeded pain.  I am looking into the eye of my anger and asking what it wants me to know.  I am walking towards the intense emotions that I feel, rather than flee.  I am welcoming the painful growth that has come.  I am listening to the messages that come through the eruption of emotion.

Throughout the work that I am committed to doing so that I can be a better woman, friend, partner, and human being, I have been given the most amazing teachers who are divinely sent to offer me delicious tidbits of wisdom.  Recently, when I was volunteering in hospice I entered a room where the love inside was palpable. Almost breathtaking in her vibrancy this angel gifted me an important message that will stick around for my remaining days.  When I noticed that we have the same birthday, she immediately listed all the qualities of a Capricorn; strength, independence, tenacity, hard-working, task completing, don’t take-anything-from-anyone-attitude and basic bad-ass.  We immediately recognized the qualities in ourselves and laughed together at our headstrong stubbornness.  Then she grabbed my arm.  And then with that all so familiar fierceness she looked deep into my eyes and said, “do not let your strength get in the way.”  The silence that came afterwards left the words hanging in the air for what seemed like hours.  As her beloved partner walked past the bed, my patient gestured to her and told me that she is a Cancer.  She then said to me, “We are Earth dwellers.  Sometimes we have to carry the water of others. (nodding to her love)  And sometimes we must allow the water to wash over us.”  Her eyes closed and she smiled.  Moments later her eyes opened and she asked me what I wanted my kids to know before I died.  I explained that I wanted them to know without any hesitation that they are loved unconditionally and accepted for who they are.  She smiled and assured me that they knew that.  Our time together became quiet and touchably calm.  As we said goodbye, we both had tears rolling down our cheeks.  In a short period of less than an hour, I was given more wisdom than I could ever have hoped or anticipated. Filled with gratitude, I held her hand and thanked her.  She repeated to me, “do not let your strength get in the way.”  This statement has become my mantra.

The second divinely guided messenger comes also in the form of a hospice patient. This young man is facing his death valiantly. He is expressing his regrets and his peace with God and himself.  A burly, intimidating, large, rough-around-the-edges type man, I knew when I met him that he had a gift to share. At our first visit he was gracious in his appreciation and spoke often of not feeling worthy of receiving the care he was receiving in hospice.  He shared a story that occurred five years ago when he did not have money for a new car and was forced to ride the bus.  Each day that he rode the bus,  another passenger took the same route.  This other passenger was born with no legs and no arms.  My patient was in awe of this man’s outlook on life and admittedly told me that once he spent time with this person, he realized that complaining about life’s obstacles was not the way that he would like to live his life.  He made the decision that he was going to see the world differently.  With emotion he shared how much this person had made a difference in his life.  As he described his transfer from the in-patient hospice unit where I met him to the long-term care facility, he shared that he knew that this building would be his final resting spot.  He knew he was to die in that building.  He expressed to me the fear that he had about not knowing what it was going to be like, what the other patients might be like and if he would feel cared for.  As he described the arrival, he began to weep.  He spoke slowly as he described that as the van door opened and he was welcomed to the building where he knew he was going to die, the first person he saw was the man from the bus. He wept as he said he had come full circle and that it was a God moment to see this man again, at the end of his road. He told me the he that this man taught him that life is not to be judged or to be complained about.

One of my clients who is living with a brain injury shared with me that he mediates daily. This man requires supervision and support to complete the everyday tasks of living.  He is no longer able to care for himself and yet, he is the most peaceful and happy person I have ever known.  When I asked him what does he think about when he meditates, he looked at me and said, “nothing, I just listen”.

In addition to the beautiful people who my path crosses, I am constantly given the opportunity to pause and to listen.  The call of the morning birds, the rustling of the leaves that have begun to fall the ground, the sound of my bike wheel against the pavement, and the wind in the trees.  All reminders to listen.

Just listen.

I listen to the anger.  I listen to the wise words of others.  I listen to my inner thoughts.  I listen to nature.  I listen to the ones in my life that love me. Messages are everywhere.


Not completely certain just what to do with this blog arena now that ‘the girl’ and the boys are basically grown up. No longer does the tag line for my blog apply, so I have been searching as to what to do with it.  Recent months I had begun to compile the pertinent posts of awakening and of growth in the areas of parenting, especially as it relates to disabilities into a book format but realize that even those really are really no longer a huge arena for me.  IEP meetings are over, skills are skills, and autism is autism.  Having once been so focused on working through autism/disability, I am now working within autism.  I am no longer so focused on goals and data and am more in harmony with her happiness and the what her day looks like as it relates to meaning and value.  My boys are men and they are in charge of their own path.

I have been dabbling with a wellness blog, and that seems to be more of my focus these days.  Yoga, meditation, gratitude and wholehearted vibrancy for day to day life. If you are not following that one, I suggest you check it out and see what I am up to over there.  www.embracingwisdom.wordpress.com

In the mean time, I will sit with this blog and look for that internal wisdom that is always present when I take the time to listen.