project love.

I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Prompt #10: To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius. – Ralph Waldo Emerson What is burning deep inside of you? If you could spread your personal message RIGHT NOW to 1 million people, what would you say? (Prompt by Eric Handler) _____ (Really? I'm not sure I agree with Mr Emerson on this one. What is true in my private heart may not be true for you. Sure, at the base of it, underneath all else, perhaps there is a common grounding. I'm hoping that is called love. But "genius," Mr Emerson? To believe that what is true for me is true for all others isn't called genius in my world; it's called privilege.) My personal message to 1 million people would be simply this: You are not broken and you don't need to be fixed. This isn't a dress rehearsal, honey. Bring it. Be kinder than necessary. Always possible. Always. It's a choice, not a reaction. Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion. Be more generous than you believe you can be. Sacrifice. Let people love who they love. Stop interfering in other people's lives. You've got enough to do to keep on top of your own laundry pile. Stop judging other people. It's just not attractive. Floss. Seriously. Love more. (Art by the students of Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada, who created Project Love...

intention, and patterns.

(Art by Lisa Smith) I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Prompt #9: The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. – Ralph Waldo Emerson Emerson says: “Always do what you are afraid to do.” What is ‘too scary’ to write about? Try doing it now. (Prompt by Mary Jaksch) _______ Consistency. Patterns. Our past. All those years I meant to send you a birthday card, but didn't. Not even the fact that I thought about you all day dulls the real truth that my intention wasn't enough. Consistency. Breaking patterns. Creating a "now" and a "future." Stepping out of past patterns is scary, and hard. Or it is easy, and overwrought with a story about difficulty. "It is hard to change," we hear. And sure it is, if we story it as hard. If we story it as necessary and in the right order of things that we all change, that relationships falter and wither and thrive, that we grow toward sunlight and away from shadow, then change is what we will yearn for. Layers. Days, weeks, months, years, decades, whole lives of layers. What is too scary to write about? Only those things we have allowed ourselves to story into a frenzy – like death, aloneness, those who have wounded us. Those stories could as easily be stories...

we know. and then we know more.

I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Prompt #7: There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years? (Prompt by Corbett Barr) _______ I stand, my eyes closed. I think about my desires for the future, my single greatest intention, what I want to create with my life. I imagine it in great detail–the sounds, smells, colors, feelings, who is around me, how I am dressed, where I live. And then I imagine my future self standing in front of me, looking at me with great generosity and love, reaching out a hand to me. I can ask myself one question. She can tell me one thing. What do I ask? And what does my future self say to me? You know what you need to know. You are complete as you are. You know. In such a way, what am I saying to my past self? You knew what you needed to know. You were complete as you were. You knew. There is really no looking back, is there? No wondering "what if," no questioning. Each action was honest and natural in its hour. As each will be still.  We know. And then we know...

Mr Brilliant is, above all, Mr Daddy.

My husband John has been a daddy for 19 years now. Here are just a few of the many reasons he is such a fantastic dad: This is where it all began. Little Emma in strong arms. He protects and supports us.       When Maggie the miniscule dwarf rodent hamster died, he first took her to the emergency vet hospital because Emma was in such a panic (they diagnosed congestive heart failure, and I imagined them doing CPR with toothpick paddles), then he built a tiny coffin for her, and led a solemn procession of Emma's friends and their parents down our long front walk to deliver a moving eulogy for her in the backyard. He does not minimize their pain. When the B-17s come to the local airport for their annual visit, he can always hear them coming, always runs like a madman out into the front yard, and always screams for Emma and Tess to come hear their approach. And always ALWAYS take Emma and Tess to see them on the tarmac. Some days, Tess even wears her wings and carries her own wooden plane for the tour. He is insatiably curious and loves to share that with them. There is nothing he cannot figure out and put together. Even though he REFUSES to read directions. Both Emma and Tess turn to him for help with their homework "because he knows everything." (Evidently I am chopped liver). He is the one we all turn to for help. He is the decorations and party man. Every birthday and special occasion, he decorates with dozens of balloons...

Be 100% in.

I am participating in #Trust30, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Prompt #6: Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive. Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral? (Prompt by Jonathan Mead) ________ One of my favorite quotes came from a copy of Reader's Digest magazine I found in my mom's bathroom years ago. I did the unthinkable–I tore it out of the pristine small pages of the Reader's Digest, and stuck it in my passport. It has traveled the world with me: “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.   Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” -Alfred D Souza Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. This, THIS, this is the life. There is no waiting. None. No time for that. Maybe goals are misleading. Maybe they induce too much striving, too much waiting, too much "not now, but...