On my wedding day

I have always had this idea about getting married at the ocean, and more recently in the ocean. Standing there at sunset with my beloved under God at the meeting of air and water, earth and fire it felt so perfect in my head. I got a taste of it this summer in Bali as we took a sunrise snorkeling trip and there we were at the meeting of the elements. I’ve never felt so free. If I could bottle that moment up…

So I found myself looking at wedding dresses. I wasn’t sure what style best suited the occasion. I knew I wanted to feel light. Free. Divine. I started pinning the dresses I liked and repeatedly came across the adjective “ethereal”. I’d seen it before and assumed it meant something close to Bohemian. I wasn’t one to put a flower in my hair but I’ll be damned if I didn’t appreciate the choice should the mood ever strike.

I never wanted anyone there, just him and I. I’d bend a little but not much on that. Twenty-five max. But none of the location wedding details were negotiable. I needed the sea, the sunset and this ethereal dress floating behind me in the water as we made our vows before God.

Some people fantasize about the details. The dress. The shoes. The colors, the cake, the food…I fantasize about the feeling. It is what every piece of my stubbornness is working to protect. The authenticity of the moment. The beauty of the moment. The divinity of the moment. I don’t want anything to get on the way of the spiritual meaning of this day.

On that day, I don’t want to have to pretend. On that day, I want to only be with those that love and support me and our union. On that day I want to be my most present. I want to take in every morsel of my wedded bliss or my ache from pinchy heels; however I feel I want to BE that on that day. I want to be fully myself. I do not want overdone make up. To go on a crazy diet that makes me hate myself or food. To have hair down my back or in a fro, neither of which are me–at least not right now. I want to feel like I am fully at home in my existence prior to asking this man, my him, to bring me into existence forever and always a long as we both shall live. That is not the vision for everybody, but it is mine.

I don’t want to get caught up in the production so that I miss the plot. It is why I am so ardent about the intentionality around guests. On that day it goes beyond taking responsibility for the energy you bring into the space. It becomes taking responsibility for the energy you send into my Union. Our union. On that day I do not wish to operate out of obligation to anyone but the souls of him and I.

And I suppose any him for me will understand that. My sensitivities. My beliefs. My spiritual practice. He would have to, wouldn’t he? If I were ready to share my life with him, he would. It might not have been exactly what he pictured, and maybe he will have some revisions, but he will protect the feeling. Because he will want that too.

So this idea, this feeling was all wrapped up in the word that described the dress: ethereal. Delicate. Light. Not of this world. It is how I felt about myself. It is how I feel about him. It would be what he and I felt about us. It is exactly what I want on that day.

Timing and Acknowledgement

Did you know when you started out on your [journey] what your [story] would soon become? Someone asked Liz Gilbert this question of her famous adventure-in-soul-searching book, Eat Pray Love, to which she said, “what sane person could have ever imagined such a thing?!”

It got me to thinking about beginnings. When was it, exactly, that I started on my journey? Was it when I left Nashville? Arguably the decision to move home instead of drink myself into an oblivion was definitely a turning point and a new start. Or was it when I moved to San Diego? Life has been a roller-coaster ride of surprises since I’ve been here. I’ve grown–both upwards into the light and also down into the earth. But perhaps neither of these is the beginning and my great work has yet to begin.

Of course, that’s simply not true. Even EPL began before it began. In a sense, we are always living our stories. Sometimes the past is the only way we can contextually make sense of the present…which as we make meaning of it, is passed.

Sometimes when a moment is happening, you get a sense that it means something much larger than the right now. I felt that way the first time I met E, or RKB. Or even the minor players and some friends. Standing in the “now” it feels as if past present and future have all aligned and these people fit into your life in a way that seems space was carved for them; and it was.

I feel as though when I make sincere requests to God, my prayers are answered. Often tenfold. Lately, I’ve found myself praying for presence. For the ability to, when faced with an inconvenient truth, not bolt and dive head-first into numbing activities. Give me the ability to stay and endure. Meredith said last night, “the only way out is through.” How absolutely astute, and sure I’ve heard it before but something about hearing it at that moment on that day made it a little more true than previously.

Ash once told me the greatest advice she ever got was, ” Right guy, wrong time; wrong guy.” It a greater scope I take it to mean that, the universe–in all of its infinity and wonder–does not nor will it ever do “almost”. Natures timing is perfect. Things bloom when they are supposed to, die when it’s time, and are nourished all the days of their life, all things considered. Why should we be different?

Are we?

imageThat’s the thing about timing, though. We sometimes get on our ownand forget that we are not separate from nature, but very much a part of it. We bloom when we are supposed to, die when it’s time and are nourished all the days of our life, all things considered. Right now, when I asked myself where I was in that I quickly heard myself say, you are opening. If I close my eyes I can see it, myself. A little bud still green at the base but whose petals are ready to bask in warm sunshine and be wet with falling rain.

And who knows whether my great story will be about the beginning, the middle, or the end? I certainly do not. I know that it will arrive when it’s time. And I will not ignore it, I will sit down and give it proper attention. I will write until the ending arrives. But for now, I suppose, I am just living the prologue.

50 years of dreams, and Oprah and Brene

I have written three journal entries about meeting Oprah and Brene Brown Monday. What I realized was that I needed to get out of the way of the post and let it come.  The words were ready but per usual when things go awry, I could not let go.  I was blessed enough to have the opportunity to attend a taping of not one but two Lifeclass shows.  The first Brene talked about her book Daring Greatly and the 4 myths about vulnerability, and the second show she talked about shame and becoming shame resilient.


I thought my arm looked HUGE in this photo on the top and I remember looking at the photo and saying, “Dear arm, you will not be allowed one ounce of the joy of this day.” And I posted it on every social media site I am on. When I see the photo even now, I think of the moment and then of my declaration, and I feel immensely proud of myself.

Who is Brene Brown? I suppose that is easily google-able but I can tell you who she is to me.  She is someone who put her heart into her work. She is someone who defies antiquated mindsets in “The Academy” which do not always prioritize the accessibility of research to the non-academic. She is one of my professional heroines. The thing that I can appreciate most about her is that she is relatable. I know she is a PhD but she does not lead with her degree, she leads with her heart and it is that which allows so many people to be touched and changed by her work. When I think of the kind of impact I want to make both professionally and as a person, she is someone that I can look to and say, She did it and did it well. I have shared my apprehension about being too “academic” or too “poetic” and wondering how the two could possibly exist within the living breathing dynamic creation that will be my dissertation.  What I came to understand is that if it is coming from me then it will have both because both are of and in me.  I am a poet, and I am an academic not always in equal measure, but certainly always both simultaneously, and what I can now acknowledge is that: We cannot help but to be ourselves, even if we do not wish to be.

Everyone knows Oprah, except for that one salesperson in Switzerland, and ever since I first told people that I was going to get to attend the taping I have been getting all sorts of requests of how to let her know just how much she means to people. In reality, I probably said 5 words to Oprah and none of them were life-changing, I’m sure. What I can take from the experience is this: you cannot chase Oprah.  When you look at Nate Burkus, or Dr. Phil, or Suze Orman, or even Brene Brown these are people who allowed themselves to be naked, or on fire, or whatever metaphor suits your minds eye illustration of “in it”; passionate in their own fields and surrendered in their work.  These are not people who wake up saying, how can I be a celebrity? How can I be successful? How can I get Oprah to notice me? That is chasing, and Liz Gilbert bless her beautiful soul has haunted me with the idea that the things we chase like thieves run like thieves.  So why “Chase Oprah?” I think…when I look even at myself and my own goals it is not so much that I want to meet Oprah, it is that I want to be recognized as being a passionate and dedicated educator and leader. What I believe Oprah has come to symbolize in our country and arguably in the world, is the definitive arrival at such a place. If you are meeting Oprah, as a guest in the capacity that Brene is meeting her, then Brene has “arrived”. And, don’t kill me but…Oprah is just a person. I have written before about this, but the things we feel about ourselves, the things we know about ourselves when we see her is what makes her who she is.  The thing I wish we really acknowledged is that we are JUST AS SPECIAL as she is, she just already knows it.

And while I absolutely am thrilled for Brene and her successes that have come and are sure to continue, for myself I see, there is work yet to be done.  When I got home from the taping that night I wrote thoughts of how to make small changes in my classroom as both student and teacher to be more present and apparent in my work.

dreamI am a person who believes whole-heartedly in the power of dreams, and it is no wonder that this post did not show up in me fully until today, the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s I have a dream speech. I believe that dreams are blueprints for the type of world that we are capable of creating. I believe that anything that comes to me (or anyone) in a dream is not only possible but that it has come to us in particular because we have everything that it takes to bring said dream into fruition.  I believe that more often than not we get caught up in our own self doubt, shame, and then the projections that other people place on us of their insecurities.  Somehow it has become far easier to believe the awesomely negative rather than the awesomely awesome. I am a person who anticipates extraordinary.  I wait for it like I wait for the sun to set, and I am person who does not think small of tiny miracles.

When I announced the Brene/Oprah opportunity, I had many people asking how this “stuff” always happens to me.  Honestly? I wait for it to.  But not without work, faith without works is DEAD! I practice gratitude daily, all day beginning with my first morning thoughts, and I pull goodness to me with absolute intention. I foolishly believe that I am deserving of amazing things and experiences and the universe conspires on my behalf.  It is a simple and as complicated as that.  How can we dare to expect extraordinary if we cannot find the beauty, the joy, the grace in the so-called ordinary?

I think Dr. King had to have been one of those people as well, who despite all the negative that other people may have seen in his struggle was so fixed on the end goal, The Dream, that the other things did not mar his spirit.  Did he say to himself, I am in jail but Thank you God, I am not hurt, my family is safe, and my purpose is not lost? I think he must have been because he persisted. Not only that, but it did not tarnish the spirit of the movement. This summer, during the conference one of my group members said, “Sometimes I’m grateful for anger, because it makes people get honest. People get angry and they really show up.” Non-violence did not mean that people were not angry or that they numbed themselves to the human experience of feeling humiliated, angry, frustrated, worn, or deflated. But the absolute belief in this dream of equality, of being Seen, of being Heard…it refocused the energy of an entire generation.

That is where I can draw a parallel in what was happening 50 years ago and what is happening right now on Sunday mornings on OWN across the world.  There is this…space where acknowledgement for the full human experience is not only present but encouraged.  We are invited to be in community with one another as our whole selves, and what Brene’s work speaks to is the challenges we have in doing that and how we can overcome it for this dream…the same one Dr. King had, where people–all people– felt worthy enough to show up and the collective was accepting enough to say, I See You, I hear you, you exist.

It is a beautiful thing…and I see my own place in it all as well. I know that my own work in concurrent individual and systemic development has a lot to do with how people “show up” in groups. It has a lot to do with authenticity, with values, with vulnerability, with shame, with doubt, with trauma, with fear and with judgment.  At the end of the day I want my research to show that, I could not get there myself, but damn it, we got there together.

I wish this for everyone; for everyone to find something that gives them absolute peace and fire at the same time.  Something that keeps you up at night thinking, something that you want to share with your spouse, your neighbor, your children, something that makes you want to live a better life and help others to do the same.  I wish for everyone to find the thing that gives them purpose and to DO THAT THING. Take the time to find what fills you, it is absolutely worth it.  Ask yourself the hard questions, co-conspire with your imagination, indulge your wildest dreams because we are SO worthy to create a beautiful world.

Lastly, and these two I got from Brene explicitly, the first is to give yourself permission to be uncool.  It is why I had to take a step back from social media a few weeks ago, because I found myself becoming increasingly more concerned with other people’s lives, and not only that but I was beginning to define my own life by the standards set by others. My outfit was only as cute as the number of ‘double-clicks’ I received on instagram.  I had to take a pause and say wait, “Does this matter? How does this matter to your life? How does this feed you? How does this nourish others?” It didn’t. And while I did get caught up in it, I also caught myself, and really that is all I can hope for, is to stay aware enough to catch it and to reset.

Second, was that the world needs to hear what YOU have to say and in YOUR voice. Brene said this to an 8-year PhD student who had lost her voice and was deferring to the voice of her faculty members around her.  It is not easy to be yourself, and so many people don’t want you to be.  It makes other people uncomfortable when you are too honest, because it gives them guilt for all the lies they tell daily. The thing is, you cannot carry that with you. I cannot. I cannot write for my advisor or my committee. I cannot teach for the one student who loves me or the one that hates me. And I cannot build my career around trying to meet Oprah.  What I can do, is to follow my heart. I can listen to my inner voice and create a life full of intention, purpose, love, and connection.  I can do my best and forgive myself when I give any less.  That is all I can do.  I think of the quote Donald Miller said of his future wife, “I will give you this, my love, and I will not bargain or barter any longer.  I will love you, as sure as [God] has loved me.  I will discover what I can discover and though you remain a mystery, save God’s own knowledge, what I disclose of you I will keep in the warmest chamber of my heart, the very chamber where God has stowed Himself in me…” and that is what I feel in large part of my work. I will give my voice to it, in language only I have been equipped to offer but it will still remain vastly unexplored yet I will keep it in all in my heart as mine and as me.

It is a bizarre thing when you realize that even when you’re pretending to be someone or something else, you are only–at best– a very good imitation.  I do not want to live my life in costume. I do not want to exist in elaborate baroque garments of society convenience, couture fabrications and designer illusions.  I want to be one-hundred percent me at all times in all spaces. How can I expect or want someone to see me, to acknowledge me, if I am not willing to step out and be who I am?  I have to be willing. We have to be willing because I cannot do it by myself. You’re scared? I am too, but I’m ready.

I prayed this prayer to the night after, I said:


Your will terrifies me. But I trust you, completely. I hear you. I’m ready. Let’s go.


Because for as much as this opportunity was about Brene and her work, it was also about me and mine–and everyone else as well. We were chosen to awaken to our own potential and to be in community with one another. We were shown what is possible and because I know of the absolute connection between us all I know that if greatness is possible in one of us it is possible in all of us.  Yes, it may look different for me than it does for LeBron James, but believe me greatness is greatness.  So I said to God, lets go. I say the same to you.

The Lifeclass featuring Dr. Brene Brown will air on Oprah’s OWN on September 22nd, and September 29th, for more information check out Oprah.com. 

Dream come true

Girl, that’s called “visualization”!

I’ve had an amazing weekend. Where to even begin? I met with a healer. We shared stories about how we came to know our gifts. It was interesting how the whole meeting came about, really because it was the result of a simple request. Maybe a year ago I was talking to Terri about how energetically, and spiritually difficult it has been for me during certain times and classes. She insisted that I find a community. I heard her, but as much as I needed it, I was not sure I was ready to be in a community of people who knew me in that way. In other words, I was not sure I was really ready to be seen.

Well, that has since changed and two weeks ago I made a very intentional request for connection and community. So it was beautiful that after making the request, I was having this amazing breakfast with someone who was offering me connection and community. After the breakfast I was enthused to really spend time creating my vision board. So I gathered magazines and pictures, markers, glue, and all sorts of supplies to create. One of the things that I put on there was a picture of Oprah and Brené Brown and I wrote the words “MUST MEET” in gold marker. That was Saturday.

Today I get home ready to work on some stuff for a class I am a TA for, and I get a phone call. Now three weeks ago I saw a tweet from Brené Brown mentioning her going to tape a Lifeclass session with Oprah. I followed the link and wrote a short essay about how much Brené’s work has influenced my own and said a few words about Oprah as well and honestly hadn’t thought much about it since. Until today when on the other end of my phone was Oprah’s audience coordinator asking if I was available for the show. What?! Did I not just speak this into my FUTURE? Oh wow that’s now.

So I racked my brain for how I was going to get to Chicago, who I knew in the area, where I would stay, when I would have to leave, my mind was spinning with all the reality and I just took a moment to breathe and I looked down on my arms to see goosebumps and I cried. I cried and I laughed and I thought about Steel Magnolias… “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” I thought about how awesome this moment was, is, was. I thought about how much I just wanted to thank GOD for my good fortune, no, for my good favor.

During breakfast I told Melissa that I have been trying to get comfortable with being who I am. Because I am a huge presence and I want to own that, I can fill a room. I told her of having to learn my worth, my value, and being able to assure my self that I was deserving of grace not because of incidence or luck but because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I truly believe that. People listen to me, I quit trying to figure out why and I just accept that they do. And it used to make me want to speak less, because I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone’s misery. But now I want to speak UP and say, God order my tongue so that my words are the message you wish to deliver. I want to get my ego out of the way and be a vessel. Truly. And here we are.

So as I have told all my friends this weekend, be careful what you ask for! Prayers are definitely being answered in my life, scarily fast and it is exciting and terrifying and…wonderful. It’s wonderful. And a blessing and I am filled to the brim with joy. So full.

imageAnd just a quick word about my vision board…it is funny that most of it is full of places I want to see. Africa, the Bahamas, Paris, Joshua Tree, and of course Jamaica. There’s lots of quotes and beautiful reminders like “never hide”. There are four people you’d recognize, Sean Carter (Jay-Z), President Barack Obama, Oprah and Brene Brown as they are the four people I want to meet (really…I want to know them. There is a difference). And I haven’t finished yet but I will post a picture when its done. The process has been interesting because it really makes you focus your attention on the question, “What do you want?” It’s a great process. And one that, apparently, yields results.

A reconsideration of sorts

I had just gotten done working on a part of my research when I got on the elevator heading down to the car. Feeling the box adjust just slightly as I stepped in my heart sank ever so softly into my chest and I asked, “how long have you been telling yourself that something is wrong with your body?”

I didn’t bother to answer. A few weeks ago I decided I was going to start adding physical aspects to my morning gratitude practice. Thanking God for my body in various ways. I thought, more than anything, right now, I am so very grateful for being my mothers daughter.” And what does that mean? It means never being satisfied with the superficial, it means being caring and candid, it means appreciating laughter, and it means being charismatic. Neither of my parents are shy “keep to yourself” types, and so I guess its only natural I have this strong pull to connect with others.

I saw a classmate of mine who told me he reads my facebook posts, and my blog when I post links to it. “You haven’t posted in a while,” he said. I forget. Not to post, but that even this place is a testament to connection.

No one has ever been as hard on me as I have been on myself. I have held myself to ridiculous standards and held dreams just out of reach like a dangling carrot to a mare. In coming to terms with my own…well, with myself, I have grown to understand how much I’ve limited myself. And why? Because I didn’t look a certain way? Weigh a certain weight or dress a in a particular style? Its just a lie. Its an ugly lie and its so clearly not true as evidenced by my amazing life.

I have loved. I have jumped off mountains and treetops. I have drank too much. Danced for too long. Laughed too loudly. Given too much. I have lived. And not only that I have lived a damn good life. And I am so grateful for my story (so far). I am ready for whatever adventure awaits me, and I plan to greet it with grace and curiosity.

In my journal I wrote, as I listened to Joel Osteen:


And I meant those words. I am worthy of love. Of belonging. Of connecting, that is my birthright as a divine being. I feel I’ve come to the point in my life where I can recognize how many miracles I’ve been privy to experience and I realize just how great its been. I can look at the darkest corners of my being and say with love, “it happened.” I recognize my survival, my strength, my resilience. And any flaw I might have thought I had just isn’t a good enough excuse given all I’ve overcome. No. I am fearfully and wonderfully (that is, full of wonder) made. I am walking ordered steps.

It happened, yes, but God…



I love photography. I admittedly am one of those people that change my facebook profile picture every few days because I get tired of the shot a few days later. Usually, its about the outfit, or the hair or the make-up or some…accessory that has temporarily made me feel (fill in the blank). I took one of those pictures the other night before a friend’s birthday party. My hair was curled, my lips were pink and pouty, my eyes were understated drama…I felt pretty. And yet a photo I took days before still haunts me in a wonderful way.

While I felt pretty in the “dolled up” picture, I feel beautiful in the other. Its plain, pretty ordinary and otherwise unremarkable. My hair was straight, my make-up…well what make-up? Its just me. And I guess I see myself everyday, but I certainly do not look at myself and see the beauty I see in that picture.

I was having a conversation with myself; thinking about where I am and where I’m headed. I thought about my strengths, my absolute strength being in people. In connecting and relating and listening to people. I wondered, challenging myself a bit, how I could get better at this. I’ve long believed that the bashert things are easy, we make things hard when we fight against the way. Yes, again…surrender.

So I thought about the things that have come easy to me…the good things like making friends and the bad things like quitting on my health. And I’ve talked myself through “the fights”, asking myself why I stayed in the ring. In past relationships it boiled down to wanting to prove I was worth sticking around for. In past failures its been my own stubbornness is not wanting to accept that not everything was meant for me.

But when I look at that picture, I get a glimpse of the woman who is sure of herself. The woman who is not defined by her relationship status nor her partner. The woman who loves fully because she chooses to, not to validate herself. The woman who is capable of anything she puts her mind heart to. I smile because I see her. And until I can see her everyday, I am going to keep searching for glimpses through the photograph. Glimpses that remind me of who I am and who I was created to be.

Everyday miracles

I believe in all the things that are normally left in fairy tales and make-believe. I know angels to be real and love when I see little timestamps in my journey that tell me I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Last night I had statistics class. I hate it. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because its just not my cup of tea. It also does not help that every example we get to make the content “real” is biology related, but I am taking it in the nursing school. Needless to say I spend a lot of the class lost. Yesterday ways particularly difficult for some reason, I am not sure why. Normally, our professor gives us the last 45 minutes or so to do our homework and everyone stays to take advantage of her help. Last night, I couldn’t do it.

I walked out of class frustrated at not being even the slightest bit interested in a class at this stage in my education, and then the funky spiral. I got upset because I wanted to go home and couldn’t because it gets dark so early now that walking home is not the best idea. And I hate that my plans to get a car are always ruined by some unfortunate circumstance. I had worked myself up and just wanted my bed to be my fortress of solitude.

Then I looked down at my phone and saw an email from my student asking about extra credit. I remembered that I’d sent them to “some leadership workshop” and thought, well let’s see what I’ve sent them too. I walked to the UC imagining how nice it would be to have my own car finally and to be able to just come and go as I please. I was lost in thought the whole walk over. As I arrived to my destination I thought about a classmate who works in the building. I thought maybe she’d be around and I could ask her for a ride home. So, I touched the handle and said outloud, “find something to be grateful for.”

Ten steps later I get to the doors of the workshop and its Zachary. And Crystal. And my advisor. I also saw Mass Elle, who I’d been texting earlier about how miserable I felt in stats class. I looked around the room and found lots of familiar welcoming faces and I took my seat and joined the work.

The thing that I have to laugh at was how I so desperately wanted home. Its all I could focus on, and now here I was dedicating another hour to being on campus, but that space with those people was and is home. Not only that, but the work we were doing was work I told Zachary I wanted to do more of with him. Well played, God. Well played.

So there was still the issue of going home. How was I going to get there? Mass Elle told me I could just take her car and drive back in the morning. I could have cried. Not because of her offer, though it was incredibly kind and I am grateful for it. But because of the quick return on my prayer. I needed that independence, to feel it, it have it affirmed and if only circumstantial and if only for one night.


When I went downstairs to get keys from Mass Elle I saw the book Blue Like Jazz which I have referenced several times. There it was just sitting there on her desk. I asked her who’s it was and she didn’t know, but I knew. It was there for me to notice. For me to be sure that in this moment I am where I am supposed to be. In every sense; physically, mentally, spiritually, etc. I recalled the opening lines…

I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.

After that I liked jazz music.

Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.

I also took one more step in the direction of choosing teaching. Because, after all, it was my students who lead me there. When Henry asked me what was important to me right now (because, he said, this same thing will govern the trajectory of my next years) I thought of two things, family and seeing people go within. That’s really what I want to do. I want to show people the way. Not my way, the way, so really “I” just want to get out the way.

Two things just struck me, the night I saw Henry, he sang this little light of mine with his wife, my advisor, what an appropriate song for the space. And also, some of our students put up a board outside the Student Life building with the question, “what is it you have been called to do?” I wrote big as day in bright orange marker, LOVE~thats all there is~

Way to bring it full circle. Again, well played, God, well played.

Just like earth


I’d been asking the question all week and weekend, “what am I missing?” “what am I not seeing?” “what is it that you are trying to teach me, God?” Over and over again I posed the questions or some variation of them only to fall on deaf ears and to wake up day after day with the same knots in my stomach and pain in my lower back. Why am I always being forced into this corner of financial strife and having to rely on absolute faith in its purest form just to get from one moment to the next, clearly I am missing something, but I was ready to learn the lesson and move on. WHAT IS IT THAT I AM MISSING I felt like I was demanding the answer now. So naturally, I pulled cards.

In the midst of my current financial mess I thought I’d get some spiritual insight and suffled until it felt like I was done. I asked two questions, the first was, “What do I need to learn?” and the card I pulled was “keeping still”. The second question I asked was “what am I missing?” And the card I pulled was the “taming power of the great.” I go to read about the 2nd card and got to the 1st line b4 I got a total chill and tears came. It says, “the taming influence here is the ability to remain aware while being “tested” by circumstance. How able are you to hold firm to your ideals and maintain your integrity in the face of challenges that threaten to break down your resolve?” I curled over and began to hug myself. I’ve been sharing with my best friends how awful I’ve been feeling. Not even the situation itself, but the cyclical nature of these issues. I am missing something! So when I read this I was shaken.

Last night I told my Person that I worry so much about trying to be responsible and this makes me look frivolous and messy. The card says, literally: once you begin to sweat the small stuff its likely that you will cling like crazy to something and have started to think that thing is part of the definition of who you are.” That was exactly it. I was so caught up in needing to be responsible. Grown up. That even when things happened beyond my control I experienced it as a blow to Self. However, the truth is I am not my checking account balance. I am not my credit score. I am not my weight, my height, my gpa, or any other number.


Mass Elle wrote to me and said, “it’s almost silly if you think about it – *obviously* you are more than your bank account!” Isn’t it the truth? Then I read my i’ching

It said I would literally have to uproot this belief because the corruption was so engrained. Uproot…to unearth, to literally dig out from the very foundation. What an opportunity. To burrow deep within my own soil to uproot this belief that numbers define me.

And then to do as my first card suggested and keep still. Stand tall and erect like the mountains whose peaks reside in the heavens gazing out on all that surrounds us but doing so in stillness.

After the fact: delayed gratification

I was sifting through my twitter account looking at how much junk ends up on my feed. So, I started to delete some people and follow others.  I started with Wayne Dyer, poaching his followers then Marianne Williamson, then Louise Hay…and as I read the bios of the handful of people they follow it started to get repetitive. New York Times Bestselling Author! Spiritual Healer! Psychic! Etc. I found it a bit obnoxious then asked myself, why shouldn’t they be proud of their accomplishments? It was then that I realized I’d gotten past the “You’re not ____________ enough” part of shame and was now in the “who do you think you are?!” loop. Yuck!

So I thought back to a desire I have sometimes, to be one of these great spiritual leaders. I was literally considering that perhaps there is a new generation of healers, gurus, mystics, that are blossoming right now, and maybe I am one of them. Then I thought, but I want to know the now generation! Then it dawned on me that (omg) I met the Dalai Lama!


His Holiness the Dalai Lama shaking my hand

I shook hands, was blessed by, have a picture with THE Dalai Lama! Of course, if any of you recall that actual day I met him, I felt so numb to it because I was worried about all the wrong things. Now, however, I look back and am like wait…this happened for a reason. This picture was captured for a reason. The only photo that was taken of him with the 6 students in the entire university and I was the sole graduate student…it has a purpose. I allowed myself to consider it as foreshadowing and total joy washed over me.

Taking also into account my meeting with Jack Canfield (the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Chicken soup series) I laughed as I wrote that. But I met him at age 8 or 9 and he said to me, See you famous! I have to believe that its no coincidence I’ve met these great influences in positivity and well-being. Oprah is coming.

I feel, sometimes, that my Self is the most patient being on earth as she often has to wait for me to “get it”. I worked for 3 years diligently on knowing that I am enough. I plan to get the “who do you think you are” much more quickly. I’ll borrow the words from Marianne as I often do,” We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Now that is something.

What does it take to LISTEN?

I have said on numerous occasions that God speaks in the way that we listen. Not only that, but the universe will start at a whisper, then speak, the yell, then its a deafening echo ringing in our ears without yield. And even though I say these things, and I know these things, sometimes it still takes me getting life lessons in surround sound before I take action. I have been working at listening at 2, and for lots of things I’ve done well, but with others…

People have been suggesting I write a book or publish my posts as a book for as long as I have shared my blog and to some extent even before that. At first, I said that I didn’t have a books worth of anything to say about any “one” thing. Well…I have over 1,200 posts and if I used my tags like I should, I’d be willing to bet I’m wrong and already proved it. Then I said I didn’t have time.  Then I didn’t have help. Then I said okay! I’ll do it, but then…I didn’t. Twice.

I thought about this curious cycle as I lay in bed itching to write just as I wake, like most mornings, and I sent words of gratitude to a friend who had written to me suggesting I publish. I thought, what is it going to take for you to listen? I asked myself, “are you playing small?”

Naia text me yesterday and spoke of our lives and how they often run parallel even across great distances. She spoke, also, of how she had recently been warned about playing small and laughed when she read it had come up for me on Friday. I thought back to Brene and I wondered what it would feel like to step into my power.  I should say, step fully. Not that having one foot in is celebratory; it has you completely off balance and when you’re halfway in two spaces, you’re not really in either. 

The feeling that comes to mind is that high you get after you just ran on a crisp day. Clear mind, open lungs, a heart racing with excitement…and it occurred to me just this moment that I have never experienced that. Yet, that is what I imagine power to be…isn’t that interesting and telling? I want to be a runner, I want to be a published author…I want to experience the runners high but in order to do that–i have to run. If the high is power then I have to step into it. That was one of those moments where things make sense on a whole new level.

The Colonel always asks, “if not now, when?” And that just felt very deafening. This is me listening.