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This (extra)ordinary life.

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving seems admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples, and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself” - William Martin

My mom shared this passage with my sister and me a few days ago. Later that morning, she posted it on Facebook, saying that she hopes she can internalize this kind of appreciation for the magic of ordinary life.

I replied: “Mom, you do. You bring so much magic to the simplest things - summer mornings on the back deck, fresh berries and a hot pot of coffee, sun and wind in the trees. Your ability to create beauty in the home makes the simplest moments full of magic.”

It’s true. My mother can bring beauty and magic into just ab…
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A Year

Dearest,

There are so many things I want to say to you on this new day of this new year. So much has happened in this one trip around the sun. It feels like almost a lifetime between where we were, where I was a year ago, and where we are today. The woman I am today. And even more radical is to think of the one or two trips before that. How much can change in a cycle. How powerful these days can be, the rise and fall of the sun and moon day in and day out. The tides of life and love and where they can bring us to if we choose to be washed over by them like rocks on shore, our rough edges being smoothed over by the waves and sands of time. Surrendering to the slow pounding of salt, wind, and God.

I know it has been painful. Never would I have wished for the pain, heartache and despair I remember feeling a year ago today. I could not have imagined that heartbreak, that disappointment or betrayal. It felt like a lifetime of it all wrapped up into one. It felt too, though, like a lifeti…

A message from Clarissa Pinkola Estes

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakene…

Coming apart & coming home.

It was about just about a year ago that I drove home in a panic after Ian said, “My world has just fallen apart. Come home.”

It is amazing what can happen in a year. How the world can change. Come apart at the seams and be stitched back together. Fall apart and be rebuilt completely, almost.

The truth is, I must have had a pretty good foundation already. The scaffolding pretty firmly in place. Cornerstone fixed, sturdy from years of preparation. Years of it coming – not him, me. Years preparing to come home to myself.

That coming apart is what I needed to come home. To take the final steps, in faith, back to the only home I have ever really needed – my own heart, where God lives.

I knew I needed to move out of fear and into love, but I had no idea what that really meant. That it meant an internal shift; the fashioning of an internal tapestry I am only now beginning to see more than one stitch at a time. Love. Faith. Compassion. Wholeness. The source: me and God. Real love, mature…

Adyashanti

"Everywhere around you – within you actually – is that sense that everything is okay, that beautiful okay-ness. It’s in the cells of your body. This is what you are. When you can find this deep presence and unconditional love, right in the middle of our deepest fear, then you get the sense of it. It’s right in the stillness. It’s the stillness itself. You’re surrounded by it – outside, inside. It’s who you really are."

—Adyashanti



By the fire

Standing at the fire at Temenos on New Year’s Eve I knew that if I threw everything about Ian’s relapse into the fire – all the pain and hurt and anger – that if I committed to letting that go I would have to also commit to letting Ian go. I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but when I opened my eyes Ian was gone. He had been directly across the fire from me and now he was gone. I was left to stand by the fire on my own, and I knew that I’d have to be okay with that if there was any hope of really being free.

I haven’t thought much of that night in the months since then. But now, 9 months later (incidentally the same amount of time it takes to grow a child), I was reminded of it – of that moment and of everything that has come to pass since then. I thought that making the decision to throw it all into the fire was the end – that it would bring closure. But now I see –it was the beginning. The beginning of becoming comfortable and complete alone by the fire of my own soul.

I t…

Forgiven

In mid-June, before I left for America, I had a session with Peter (my amazing psychologist. God bless him.). It’s been a while now, so my memory is hazy about exactly how it all transpired, but I remember that shortly before that session I had had an experience that felt very, very important when it happened. During a potluck AA meeting at my home, I was reminded of a memory I’ve thought about countless times over the years – being at Pratt with Jim and Noah and all their artsy, druggy friends. It was nighttime and we were most certainly high and the boys were causing some kind of trouble. There is one moment that stands out to me, though. I was sitting in a chair in a corner. Out of a haze, I could see myself clearly. How did you get here? I asked myself. This is not who you are. Almost before I could finish the though I quieted that part of myself (the truest part there was!). It was too painful. I didn’t know any other way. I didn’t know how to be anywhere or anyone else besides …