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. 

Puppy Love

We know that animals can bring great companionship and love to us humans. The unconditional love that a furry friend teaches us is one of the greatest feelings in the world.  I recall a time when I first adopted my dog and we were at the dog park where he was far away in the distance sniffing and exploring.  Suddenly he stopped, and began to look around only to recognize me from afar and sprint towards me with the most love I have ever seen.

This last Mother’s Day I had a strong calling to get the girl her own puppy after years of her begging–not just any puppy, but a Pug.  Finding a Pug puppy that isn’t from a pet store/puppy mill was a challenge in itself, but once again the Universe provides all that I need.  I opened up my computer that morning and checked craigslist and sure enough a person about two miles away had Pug puppies ready that very day.

We have now had this little creature in our home since May and I have seen my girl take all the love that she has in her heart and give it to this dog.  She is so responsible, so loving and so attentive.  I have watched my girl have the maternal panic of something may be wrong when the puppy was being examined for the first time.  My girl has extended herself in communication and advocacy when making the appointments for the vet and then being the person who the vet speaks to about the health of her baby. She feeds, clean ups, walks and watches the puppy without any reminders or support from me.

What I have seen the most in my girl since being this little puppy’s mom, is the deep love that exists in each of us. Uninhibited and fully present love.  It is a beautiful thing.

Two Teachers

My time volunteering in hospice is usually the highlight of my week.  I never know just who or what I might experience when I go, but I know for sure it is going to always be a great lesson.  Sometimes the lesson is within me and my inner reserves of courage and grace, and other times is it a direct lesson from the teacher themselves.

Yesterday was the latter.

When I entered her room, she was standing at the window overlooking the amazing view.  Her eyes were locked on the majestic mountain Pikes Peak.  She stood with a giant smile on her face, and said “would you look at that?”.  I offered her a seat and she kept her small eyes on the view.  Her voice was weak and her skin was old and paper-thin.  And yet, her spirit radiated such vibrancy and such light.  She told me she was 90 years old and had lived here her whole life.  She shared that she had two daughters who have died and that her wishes was that she will be buried near her father.  As she looked out the window, it was evident that her mind was flooded with time on the trails. She explained to me certain hidden trails that veered off the common Barr Trail.  She looked me in the eyes and told me “those trees have my memories…..my soul lives on that mountain…..when I am on the mountain, I am free…..the trees speak to me…..” My breath became shallow and I fought back tears.  I listened as she guided me as to the best places on the trail to see the world and the rocks that were best to stop and just be.  She shared that her wish was to take one more drive into the canyons and see the trees.  When I got ready to leave, she held my hands and told me,  “you get out there okay?”.  I paused before I left her room. I hoped that I was looking at my older self. Though she was facing the end of her journey, she was so appreciative of life—all forms of life.  It was so inspiring.

The next patient I saw was a man who seemed anxious and tense.  He had never had a hand massage and was unsure if it was something he would enjoy, but decided to go ahead with it.  I sensed as his energy shifted to an ease and he became relaxed through the touch.  After about fifteen minutes, he asked me if there was something more than the oils that caused the sense of well-being.  I told him that to me, it is energy.  An exchange of energy and a lot of love.  He closed his eyes and smiled.  A few minutes later he shared with me that he has a book that is about to be published about his observations while spending time at a pond on his property.  He said he watched as the cycles of birds would come and go each season.  He said he wrote about the sacredness of the birds and the messages that they offer.  As I finished up, he asked “how can it be that one day you are living your dream, and the next you are here”.

Words cannot be expressed easily about the genuine presence that I experienced.  The vulnerability and grace.  The truth.

The greatest teachers come to me in Divine timing. I learned to live with appreciation for all that is.  I learned to observe and be present.  I learned that life is fragile and should be never taken for granted.  And for that I am eternally grateful.

The Spirit of My Grandmother

Surrounded my the familiarness of my childhood home, I find myself stopping to marvel at the trees, the squirrels, and even the long ago walked on sidewalk with the exact same cracks and uplifted slabs from roots of massive trees.

Just like that it hits me.  A moment where I stop in my tracks and smell the familiar smell of my childhood.  I am not certain what the scent is but I know it well.  It is so familiar that even my cells even tremble.  It is like being transported 40 years into the past and I am now sitting beneath her giant tree waiting patiently for her to call me for her world-class home cooked dinner.  The smells of her cooking mixed with the aroma of old, old trees fill my senses.  I look to see that the old homes have changed just so slightly.  I recall with great fondness of our walks down to the Woolworth store past the homes that then looked so daunting.

I watch with awe at the silver-haired elders across the street as they toil in their yard; soft gloves on and old pails for water, straw brooms and yard shoes.  I remember her gloves, her shovels and the way she would daintily pick at her posies.

I see the squirrels run up and down the trees and remember the famous squirrel named Peggy who she faithfully laid peanuts out for.  Each morning peeking through her back door hoping to catch of glimpse of this mysterious yet beloved critter.  I hear bird song again today that I used to wake me on summer mornings to begin another adventure with her.

She is with me every single day.  I never realized just how much I missed her until I have been inundated with her energy and her presence. Each day I feel her.  I sense her.  And I miss her.

Celtic Blessing

An amazing elder in my life came to my home and performed a Native American Medicine Wheel Blessing on my me and my space. She brought a rock from her medicine wheel where I walked with her beautiful horse years ago. She honored me and my space.

After the Native ritual, she offered me a Celtic blessing. She asked that I open the front door to allow the spirit in to grace the space as she read a blessing.

So grateful.

Earth Elements Blessing

In a world outside a blog, it is not often that I am vulnerable or that I share my inner most thoughts and feelings easily.  It is even more rare that I ask for support or even consider anything shy of badass-independence. I knew however that I would love to welcome and take in the love of women that love me unconditionally as part of a special ritual.
I selected a few special women in my life to help me celebrate my new life and my new space. I wanted to have a special ritual that would honor me and also the connection to the Elements of Earth and how they are such great influences in my life.
When I invited these special ladies, I asked that each one bring one small rock to place in my space as a reminder of Mother Earth’s (earth) ability to ground me. The stories of where the rocks came from and the special thought that was put into finding each one filled my heart with gratitude. Each woman carefully placed the rock on my Buddha who watches over my space. We then each lit a candle as a way to bring (fire) into my space and remind me of my constant inner flame and that karma is capable of being burnt up. Next,we shared a toast of wine to honor the blessing that (water) brings to us as part of life’s precious cycles. Finally,  together we created a Prayer Flag that will hang outside with each woman writing a prayer on a flag of fabric that I will tie to a cord —the wind (air) brings the opportunity to move the Prayer Flags and take the prayers into action.
As we gathered into a circle, one sweet friend read a poem by Mary Oliver:
The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.


So grateful for the richness of the love that was shared and the presence of Earth and Life.  Much gratitude.