It seems to come down to one primary theme for most every human I know, or have known. To carve a canyon of self-love in the heart of a shamed inner landscape. Not easy, when those inscripted to build that foundation failed to pass on tools. Not easy, when our ancestry planted seeds of self-hatred in the fields of our consciousness. It takes all that we have, a fertile imagination and a courageous willingness, to forage through the brush to find it. Often we look for it in others, and end up sorely disappointed. Because they can’t do it for us. They just can’t. This is our work, the work of our lives. To learn how to love ourselves, for real. People talk a lot about finding their purpose, without realizing that cultivating self-love IS sacred purpose. It’s the thing that changes everything.

                                                                      Jeff Brown


Each of us possess a gripping life story. A continuance of
vital passages. An entire account of our earthly evolution.
Each story is a relevant thread in this infinite weave of
multicolored hue. Not every story will be spoken aloud. But
every story is sacred. Every story worth recounting. Every
story true. We must recognize the short-lived and silent
threads, for they are part of the magnificent cosmic shawl.
We must pause to give them a voice, to allow their spirit to
take space to confess their existence. We must give them the
honor that is due.                          ~Susan Frybort


Our story…

does it matter???

Can we change it????

Can we redefine our lives???

Re-write our endings???



what is our life-work?

It’s something to think about….

Why are we here?

What does being a successful human really mean?

Is it about money?

Is it about fitting in to a corporation?
Impressing our community?

Fulfilling our families ambitions –

low or high as they might be?

This is what I believe is our life-work:

We are here to be our highest and best selves….

My poet friend, Fred Lamotte, says,

there are three rules here:

Risk Everything


Each of us is unique and so each of us discovers different. The work includes getting to know ourselves. Stripping away the layers of societal and familial expectation, woundedness and our selfish natures (ego).

The best of our work is when we get to a point where all of our actions are based on love and not on anything else. It is the actual letting go…choosing to NOT do things you want to say no to, to not call your mom, or your kids, because of guilt. Every time you make a move which is counter to your wounded self/ego inclination, you get stronger

You are here to do the freeing work of inhabiting your own life and soul.


Being a sensitive person can be a confusing, complicated thing in this still harsh world. It feels intuitively right to open, to feel, to enhearten our daily life, but the world is still vibrating at a more armored and edgy place. It is not yet attuned to the ways of the open heart. So what to do? We don’t want to deaden our capacity to feel, but if we feel too much, we get run over by an often heartless world.

I have found my best answer in three places:

(1) Selective Attachment; that is- carefully discerning between positive and negative individuals and environments, and only attaching to those people and places that can hold our tender heart safe;

(2) Strong energetic boundaries; that is- being physically and emotionally charged, so that we can more effectively repel unwelcome energies;

(3) Conscious Armoring; that is- learning how to put on armor when necessary to manage the world and difficult situations, and, consciously removing it when it is no longer needed. If we cultivate these practices, we stand a much better chance of preserving our sensitivity. Once we lose it, we lose our connection to the moment altogether. Here’s to a sensitive way of being! What a courageous path!           – Jeff Brown




big sky. big water.

October 1st…

the adventure begins…

endings…beginnings…full circles…

long roads…

Do you know how long this road? 

He cocked his head and asked,

I’ve been to SanTiago –

500 miles gone past

Now I sit here wondering 

how long this trip will last

another trip around the sun 

I got here pretty fast…

Then she said,

Im a long road girl

I don’t count no miles

I’m a long road girl

I just count the smiles

Of all the people


Of all the friends

Along the way

That’s all that matters

Matters too

long road girl

Longing for a view

Do you want to sing a while? 

He bowed his head and asked,

I’ve found a tune for playing –

a thousand more come fast

I’ve written you a song or two – 

that’s how our miles will pass

another trip around the sun 

The flower will bloom at last

Then she said,

Im a long road girl

I just sing my songs

I’m a long road girl

won’t you sing along

to all our people


To all our friends

Along the way

That’s all that matters

Matters too

long road girl

In love with you

Starshine to stardust

oceans to earth 

Songshine to songburst

Filling the sky

Roaddogs to roadmaps

Pathways are paved

Free-falls to freebirds

see how we fly

soft grass moments…


circles and toes in the sand…

shadows and light…

but mainly I’m simply following the signs…


it’s just a lovely day…

life keeps on moving

thinking about how there comes a moment where you can’t stay where you are any longer…


life pushes us forward into re-birth over and over…

It can be very difficult to leave….

it can be very difficult to stay…


sometimes you just gotta get stronger…

it’s very important to listen and follow your own hearts path…

and so the time comes..

and we step or we stay…

and life goes on…


scraps and scrapes




It feels a fitting way to start this weeks post…(which….

in case you didn’t notice) is not happening on a Saturday…

Last week was a bit of a monstrous one for me in some ways…

cute monsters found on pinterest

too much for this one all by myself…


Lots of angels were working loads of overtime this past last week…

[ several angels with human faces…as well as heavenly ones…. ]

Made it with just a few scrapes…


with a few scraps appearing to keep moving me forward…

read Miguel Escobar on the LAAA post for Sept 18, 17

I keep stepping out into the seeming void…

which always reveals itself as the path of love leading to the doorway of love…

where I am invited to come in and rest for a while…

before packing the suitcase for the next leg of this blessed pilgrimage…

today is the end of something wonderful…

tomorrow is the beginning of something wonderful…


Look to this day,
for it is life, the very breath of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the realities of your existence;
the bliss of growth,
the glory of action,
the splendor of beauty.
For yesterday is only a dream,
and tomorrow is but a vision.
But today, well lived,
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness,
and every tomorrow
a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.

– Kalidasa


Today is THE day!

feel everything as deeply as you can

Dance a little!

Pray a little!

Cry a little!

Laugh a little!

yes, life flows even when it is ‘fashioned by scraps’



part i

In the middle of the road of my life

I awoke in a dark wood

where the true way was wholly lost.

                                                        – Dante


December 3, 2012 I woke up to one of the hardest days I’ve ever experienced…

windowless dark
so black
day and night are always the same here
just a faint sliver moon of light
a shadowy, shining string under the door

light of this buried basement hallway

draws me like a moth
towards the entrance to life

just like the first day I entered this world

would I have entered so easily then
if I had known this day was coming?
hot tears drip into my ears
I get up and open the door
as the bright hits me
hard in the eyes
On the day I died
water ran through pipes,
footsteps identified people in the house and
the dogs nails clicked quickly on the wood floors above my head,
insisting it was time to go out for relief.
I still needed coffee,
light with cream,
2 sugars.
The sun was bright
and I remember the sky was that deep blue,
romantically named, azurite.
There was cockscomb,
half alive in pots near the wooden footbridge I walked over.
I used to love them when I was alive.
I touched their red, velvety, blooms seeking to feel something.
I mistook fluttering angel wings for birds,
battles fought,
just beyond where I lay
on the words of Wendell Berry –
the only thread
keeping me tethered to this world.
I sat on benches beside ghosts
of those who had gone before me.
I could still only feel them beside me,
I was in the world between worlds.
There was darkness, a fire swamp, screaming, clashes of swords,
I could not save myself.
God was everywhere.
I found myself in a boat,
where I stayed for over 2 years, until,
the call came to step out,
to start walking on water.
Late in that day,
I stood in the bathroom,
accepting the most insulting job offer I have ever received,
then sat on a stool,
trying to act as if I was alive,
pretending to look for puzzle pieces,
slightly aware of the colors and shapes,
singing echoes of songs I used to love,
with my beautiful Robin,
who seemed very much alive.
I am heavy
Stepping into my day
with sand bagged feet
Hello life
In this dark day
I look for beauty
<It’s always there, right>
I wonder if I would have jumped
or gone back to die
If I had really known how hard it would be…
On and on the thoughts play
Do I really believe it will ever get better?
No answer comes…
I move away from the question
I made my choice to stay all those years ago
I will not abandon my vow
I  go curl up
In the Legacy Garden
On the round plaque with Wendell Berry’s
words of understanding of the dark night
keep me tethered to this unhospitable world
      I part the out thrusting branches
      And come in beneath the blessed
and the blessing trees.
Though I am silent
There is singing around me.
Though I am dark
There is vision around me.
Though I am heavy
There is flight around me.
                –  Wendell Berry
Underneath the gondola’s roof of painted ever-green leaves –
I lay for unnumbered hours
then I am picked up in gentle hands
and gently lowered into a boat
as hell rages around me

somehow I can’t help feeling
all that is missing is a raven quoth-ing Poe


I was in total ‘darkness’ for about two and a half years….before light began to re-emerge…
I have sought answers for the many questions I hold since this happened to me…
In so many ways, almost 5 years later, I am no closer to understanding any part of this mysterious event…
I also know this extraordinary experience will influence my life for the rest of my time here on this planet…

Into the deepest darkness
Into the belly of hell
Within the circle of silence
far inside my soul
Places I’ve never seen before
Didn’t know existed
The mystery of the Spirit
Where death resides
Fearful places
Cracking open
So secret I want to flee
Afraid of this place
Am I here alone?
Now I cry with Christ,
My God, my God
Why have You forsaken me?
What if I can’t escape?
What if death wins?
I know how weak I am without You
Now I see
The victory is already Yours
You were there
You are always there
The stone is slowly rolling
Hopes rise
As darkness trembles
I kneel at the tomb door
wisdom I was sure of
bound tightly
discarded on the pile
to be burned
creating space
for this unnamable, devastating grace

Trembling as I rise
as I begin to walk

I notice my limp

I am forever changed


“Before the Storm” photo Paul Calli in Miami via Facebook
other photos and memes via pinterest / al513
listen to:
part ii 
During my dark night, as I struggled to breathe….
as I kept getting stuck…
when doing even the simplest of tasks seemed impossible for me to accomplish…
some things became very important…

to be continued next Saturday…



holding hope in arms of love

And what if I spoke of despair—who doesn’t feel it?

Who doesn’t know the way it seizes,
leaving us limp, deafened by the slosh
of our own blood, rushing
through the narrow, personal
channels of grief.

It’s beauty that brings it on,

calls it out from the wings for one more song.

Rain pooled on a fallen oak leaf,

reflecting the pale cloudy sky, dark canopy of foliage not yet fallen.

Or the red moon in September, so large you have to pull over at the top of Bayona and stare,

like a photo of a lover in his uniform,

not yet gone;
or your own self, as a child,
on that day your family stayed at the sea,

watching the sun drift down,
lazy as a beach ball, and you fell asleep with sand

in the crack of your smooth behind.
That’s when you can’t deny it.

Water. Air.
They’re still here, like a mother’s palms,
sweeping hair off our brow, her scent
swirling around us.

But now your own car is pumping poison,

delivering its fair share of destruction.

We’ve created a salmon with the red, white, and blue shining on one side.
Frog genes spliced into tomatoes—

as if the tomato hasn’t been humiliated enough.
I heard a man argue that genetic engineering was more dangerous
than a nuclear bomb.

Should I be thankful he was alarmed by one threat, or worried he’d gotten used to the other?

Maybe I can’t offer you any more than you can offer me—
but what if I stopped on the trail, with shreds of manzanita bark lying in russet scrolls and yellow bay leaves,

little lanterns in the dim afternoon, and cradled despair in my arms,

the way I held my own babies after they’d fallen asleep,

when there was no reason to hold them,

only I didn’t want to put them down.



Ellen Bass

During natural disasters two enemy animals
will call a truce, so during a hurricane
an owl will share a tree with a mouse
and, during an earthquake, you might find
a mongoose wilted and shivering
beside a snake. The bear will sit down
in a river and ignore the passing salmon
just as the lion will allow the zebra
to walk home without comment.
I love that there are exceptions.
At funerals and weddings, for example,
the aunts who never speak nod
politely to one another. When my mother
was sick even the prickly neighbors
left flowers and cakes at our door.


Natural Disasters by Faith Shearin

The terrible danger isn’t so much not believing in God — but believing in terrible things about God.

Jordyn Grace clung to her mama while the waters rose in Houston, while they were swept away in a parking lot, swept down a swirling canal, swept into the monstrous terror of Harvey.

Jordyn Grace’s mama never let go of her 3-year-old baby with her pink backpack still strapped on, though her own spirit left her, rising, rising higher than the floodwaters.

When they found shivering Jordyn Grace bobbing on the waters, held by her lifeless mama, she whispered, “Mama was saying her prayers.

What if we saw that God answered every one of our prayers by giving us more of Himself?

What if suffering didn’t leave us questioning God — but left us seeing that God is always the answer?


Read Ann’s full amazing blog here!

the darkness has no answers.

silence is just silence.

fall, and the world laughs at you

there you lay alone on the broken sidewalk

scared to move into the jagged spaces where life grows in-spite of the hardships

there is no safe space to sit and adjust to the dark night.

as life, the sacred gift, blurs

having lost our way and, in certain moments, even our hope,

this wearying illusion,

waiting to be shattered by the screams of the raging

oh my love, do not despair

this too shall pass

the sun will shine again

sleep for a moment

hearts, still beating, even though out of time

breathe in breathe out

the world keeps turning on

just for you

just for me

keep walking towards the Western sun setting, there is always a new beginning


Amy Lloyd

making a difference


our greatest blessing….

Our biggest curse….


every minute of our lives we are choosing…

Ok, I no longer want them,
the many selves I had to manage


that once exhausted friends. I believed


in angels then, thought I might be
an angel—that was me, flying off


on a tangent, just so we could land
on one of my many balconies


so we could look down on everyone.

Old Selves by Ira Sadoff

Every minute we have the ability to change our lives….

to turn around and start in a new direction…

Ester Steintjes – Joyfull Art

life is always changing….even when we don’t think so….

keep in mind…not making a choice is, in reality, making a choice….


Every action, every choice, is yours alone…yet always effects others in great ways as well….

our choices are what create our lives…

the way to a new start is integrity…

Read more about The Four Agreements

character is making the right choices every time….every action matters…

deciding who we want to be and then choosing to become that person…

remember, consistency is key…

stand in and on the truth you believe…


something very interesting about the truth…


Mark Nepo tells us, 

‘put down what doesn’t work – 

so that we can find what is sacred.’ 

What worked so well yesterday 

may not work for today 

We wear out our structures of known truth

the frameworks of what we use for living

for healing

Let them go

step into the truth being revealed today

trust in the new architecture:


with our personal, classic twist 

We are always becoming 

Watch for the signs of structural failure 

the lies we speak rust the infrastructure we rely on

build a new bridge on the truth of your own voice

delight in this magnificent design

those amazing cranes hanging in the water

strong, foundational columns

rising from deep within the waters of yourself 

creating the new skyline of your life 

welcome this new place of crossing

It can handle rush hour


heavy foot-traffic

all are welcome here

nothing is hidden

Continue the build 

always creating yourself

with the future in mind

before the old fully implodes

underneath our feet

the truth will always set you free

speaking that out loud is the choice

which is always yours to make


Amy Lloyd


Oh do you have time
to linger
for just a little while
out of your busy

and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air

as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing

just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.


Invitation by Mary Oliver




no, we are not free from the consequences of our actions…yet, we can always start new…today!


Don’t wait!!!

photos and memes found on pinterest and google images






A derecho (/dəˈreɪtʃoʊ/, from Spanish: derecho [deˈɾetʃo], “straight”) is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm that is associated with a land-based, fastmoving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, and flash floods.

{ read more about this here }




it was after I finished this post for early on a Saturday morning…

a quick- moving storm hit me…

there was a large surprise bill…

not easily fit into my my extremely tight, freshly-crafted budget…


[ gasp ]                     { sputter }                 ( deluge of salt water* )


Photo via m.e.

                                              – overwhelmed is understated

*cue tissues, bad mascara, puffy eyes




(Photo by Charlie Doane/facebook/Branford Photography)

And then….

just as quickly as I am swallowed by this insurmountable thing…

a friend steps in….


and gives…

a gift…

which brings me full circle back to ground zero…

and the storm is over…


and I am left completely worn out…

staggered and amazed…


think of that story of ‘no miracle’ miracle!

Anticipation of
coming back to life
moving through the grey
into the breaking light
lingering like honey on my sticky fingers
There is no guarantee of anything in this lifetime
however there are amazing things hidden
which bring forth their fruit
in their season
Sometimes it feels like it just won’t happen,
flash, boom, bang
and you got okra up to the second floor windows!
after 11 year of planting and receiving nothing for your labor,
you get a full bushel of corn!
Go ahead, live with hope
Plan with expectancy
all good things
come in their time

Amy Lloyd


Jen Lemen @ Hopeful World






Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.

You fasten my seatbelt because it is the law.
In your two ton death trap I finally saw.
A piece of love in your face that bathed me in regret.
Then you drove me to places I’ll never forget.

And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys.


The woman/man you’re becoming will cost you…
people, relationships, spaces and material things.

Choose her/him over everything. 


we are so fragile….

my wedding picture….August of 1985….


just a few hours before I would begin learning about pain…


Tonight I cry for that girl
the one who knew nothing at the start
she worked so hard to do it your way
she wanted your friendship
she wanted your heart
to make you happy
for you to love her
she wanted to know why
you wanted her to suffer

I cry for her innocence
I cry for her pain
each one of her losses
and all of her shame
there she stood alone
facing hurricanes
no shelter at all
from the wind or the rain
yes, tonight I cry for that girl



Today I laugh with that girl
the one who learned it all the hard way
she worked so damn hard she choose hell to pay
just to be happy
to know that she was ok
to find her way home
to speak her own truth
to share her best life
under her very own roof

I laugh for her goodness
laugh with her joy
share all of her losses
as well as her gains
still standing strong
still singing her songs
with those who come along
yes, today I laugh with that girl

Amy Lloyd


the past few years have found me without a home of my own…

the things I have learned by sharing homes with various people over the past few years has been an incredible learning experience…

a true gift to me in every way…

Tho I have noticed, it has made it harder for me to let go of my few belongings…

yet, somehow, right now, in this moment, I feel very strongly it is time….

life is a STILL trying to teach me the value of letting things go….


It really comes down to this, doesn’t it?


life is a fragile balancing act…home is definitely made within our hearts…


…all of our most important stuff we always carry within us…

❤                                   ❤                           ❤                                    ❤

An open sandy shell
on the beach
empty but beautiful
like a memory
of a protected
previous self.

The most
difficult griefs,
ones in which
we slowly open
to a larger sea,
a grander sweep
that washes
all our elements apart.

So strange the way
we are larger
in grief
than we imagined
we deserved
or could claim

and when loss
floods into us
like the long darkness it is
and the old nurtured hope
is drowned again,
even stranger then
at the edge of the sea,
to feel the hand of the wind
laid on our shoulder,

reminding us
how death grants
a fierce and fallen freedom
away from the prison
of a constant
and continued presence,

how in the end
those who have left us
might no longer need us,
with all our tears
and our much needed
measures of loss
and that their own death
is as personal
and private
as that life of theirs
which you never really knew,

and another disturbing thing,
that exultation
is possible
without them.

And they for themselves
in fact
are glad to have let go
of all the stasis
and the enclosure
and the need for them to live
like some prisoner
that you only wanted
to remain incurious
and happy in your love,

never looking for the key,
never wanting to
turn the lock and walk

like the wind,
unneedful of you,

From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
Many Rivers Press. © David Whyte


sliding doors

It’s been a month of many returns…

portals sliding open…

stepping out onto old platforms or straight into various museums of long-hard-guarded memories…


This Eclipse

We can know all of our emotional patterns. All the triggers that trigger us. All the spaces that are unsafe for us. All the ways something can get stuck in us.

We can do all the therapy. Read all the books. Go to all the groups and still need schooling. Still be struck with an insight that floors us. Cracks our hearts wide open. Knocks the wind right out of us. Knowing is one thing. Feeling is another.

That’s what eclipse season is for.

The lunar eclipse at 15° of Aquarius occurs on August 7th, at 11:11 AM PT.

Occurring near the south node of the moon, a point that is associated with emptying out, releasing and letting go of the old, this eclipse is pointing towards the emotional patterns within us that need to be made conscious. Known. Felt.

This is a time of great vulnerability. A time where much gets exposed in order to be let go of. A full moon is a time of fruition, the apex or fulfillment of an intention. A south node lunar eclipse is both the realization of something in our lives, and the illumination of what gets in the way of future fulfillment.

Eclipses are a time when the most subtle of our issues get magnified. The ones that hide behind larger, more obvious issues. Eclipses are a time when we witness what lives in the shadows. The aspects of self that feel unloved and unloveable. Neglected and not worth paying attention to. Forgotten and forgettable. South node eclipses are a time when old stories lines return. Asking us to revisit and re-experience feelings we forgot existed, feelings embedded deep inside the tissues of the body of our lives.

We might feel frustrated. Foolish. Afraid that we are back at this place. Reliving this issue. Revisiting this pattern. But our healing process is non-linear. Nonconforming. Nonjudgmental. It feels no way about bringing up something that we thought we solved long ago.

Our healing process knows how to call us out. Knows how to call us in for our next healing initiation. Knows how to call us by our real names.

Our job is to answer the call.

Our job is to feel our way through the experience. To bear witness to our process in ways no one else can. To seek out the folks that can help us hold what is too big for us all on our own. To grant ourselves the gift of validation.

This eclipse is sitting in opposition to Mars and trining Jupiter.

Mars represents a challenge. A fight. A conflict. When we know that we are up against something that feels overwhelming, we have to take actions that will help us to unpack it. Break it down. Process it. A trine to Jupiter signifies a strong will to overcome. To create opportunity. To make bounty out of our current situation.

Encourage yourself to reach out for the help that you need. Remind yourself that you are not alone on your healing path. Remind yourself that it is not the past, that you have new tools to help you, new support systems to connect to, new ways to work through whatever it is working you.

Eclipse blessings,

Chani Nicholas


Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 

– Rumi

I decide to watch this video every day for 40 days…

As I work through these weeks I begin to see my need for ‘marble jar’ friends…







Sane Marble & Sane Marble Friends xII                   by Linda Whitstone Perry
{ find Linda on Facebook }






we find ourselves in jeopardy over and over…







there are so many patterns and illusions we carry….




some of them beautiful, or maybe even fun in some ways…




We forget the nature and teeth are real on the cute alligator riding a bicycle…


sometimes it’s tricky to identify things that can be harmful to our long term life goals…

some beliefs we never think to challenge…

                              because we ‘want’ them to be true…

                                                                     they’re our ‘sacred cows’…


                        ❤                                               ❤                                        ❤

[ example –

until recently I never challenged my

beliefs and my patterns

in, around and about relationships…


I wanted a relationship more than anything ]

I am learning to do this most difficult of inner work…

challenging some of my most holy and intimately held beliefs in new and ground shaking manners…

as I am letting go of the old…



yes, THIS fact of what we gain as we keep letting go…

is still one of the ever-surprising platforms I always find under my feet…



Image sources found on google images and pinterest / al513