Seeing The Beauty of the Dungeon

Today was one of those days when I realized, again, how one day in your life can change everything you know.  And how everything that you now complain about could seem like heaven to some, or at a different time. Just like Beauty and The Beast. She was living in her village, doing the life of villagers which she thought to be a “provincial” life. But when she was trapped in the dungeon later, her old life seemed like heaven and she yearned for it.

She made the decision to see the beauty in the place here and now and find the magic. She made it seem so wonderful that when the time came, she almost hated to leave.

How can WE make every day so wonderful that we hate for it to end? Even when we are tired, or sick, or can’t seem to get anything done. Or maybe we are sick with worry over a child or a grandchild.

As difficult as this is, it really is just a blip in our life that we can never get back.

Eckhart Tolle wrote an entire book on it which states a good place to start:

  • “Everytime you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present…..
  • [or] When you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap….

He states the way to measure success in this practice is:

The degree of peace that you feel within.
Eckhart Tolle

This weekend we watched old family movies. When my kids were little I would just sit the camera in the room and record our everyday life. As we sat now and watched our lives in the seemingly mundane moments of yesteryear, the feeling I got was that any of us would give anything to go back there for a day. To just know what we know now. We would surely make that day like heaven! We would hug tightly and look deep into the eyes of that little 9-year-old who now struggles with SUD and just smile at their innocence. We would look at our aged parents and say:

"Do you know how much I appreciate all you've done for me, for raising me and sacrificing for me?" 

I would tell my teenage kids to enjoy that day because in exactly 12 years you are going to be looking at this tape of this day and say “Wow. I didnt have one bill to pay, I didnt know real sickness or real pain or sorrow. My heart hasn’t been broken into pieces, I haven’t had to watch my child suffer through surgery or through an illness or through the pain of loneliness or the world’s unkindness. And yet I still was sassy, or was onery, or miserable because THAT day didn’t go right  or someone said something wrong to me.”

THAT DAY can never be given back–just like today can never be recouped.

The whole theory of being present & mindful is such a struggle for me. I believe one reason is that I am always searching–searching for a better way. Searching for more personal development, searching for positivity and kindness, When I don’t get it I pout. Then I look some more. On and on it goes while each day disappears. Until one day we realize all our chances are fast being used up. Chances to help someone have a better day. The chance to help my patient feel better about being holed up in a 12 x 14 room for weeks on end. The chance to make a difference.

I just want time to slow down. I want to feel every second. I want to live every second. Not to always be looking ahead. I want to live while I can. Life is just too short for weeds, and just long enough for wishes….

It’s funny, I wrote the first part of this blog a few years ago when I was a skilled rehab nurse for mostly the elderly. Today I have a little different perspective.

I don’t necessarily want to hold on to today. Today doesn’t feel great. I know I “should” because things can always get worse.

Some days I wake up with the incredible realization that my son is still alive! A gift that many don’t have. I feel deep reverence on those days until the devil gets his way and needles in little spears of fear.

The challenge of battling those thoughts is what drives me. I read. I write. I practice self-care as much as possible. I try to beautify my little condo to help make my “mind dungeon” {of addiction} tolerable. I cook healthy meals for my husband and try desperately to not talk about my son often. I try to get out of the house and go places fun and interesting. I try to support my other children- when invited.

Whatever is going on in our lives at any given time; we can hopefully make the effort to make our dungeons a palace.

Building Emotional Walls

For years I’ve built many walls. Each time I felt slighted or scared, used or hurt, I would add another brick. Brick by brick I would cement each one with emotionally resistant mortar to ensure that I wouldn’t get hurt again.

One day I woke up wondering why I felt so trapped. The walls were so tall I couldn’t see a thing! If they were to protect me then why did I feel like crap? I’m supposed to be happier by avoiding hurt. My bubble of bricks wasn’t all that bubbly if it couldn’t reach inside and place a warm compress on my still aching heart.

I wanted to be in control of my pain and I thought isolating me up like the Boy in The Plastic Bubble, would keep me in control.

By controlling who and what I let into my world, I would surely be healed of all these frailties. 

But I wasn’t healing.

I was miserable.

Without having the opportunity to approach these issues; I was stuck in my own vortex of insecurity and trepidation.

All the times I had said:

If only people would stop bothering/being mean/ attacking my character/lying to me.


If only that group/company/ race or class of people/boss/ friend would pull their heads out and do what I want them to do; then my life would be manageable and tolerable and I would thrive.

When you find yourself becoming bitter, angry or acting in defensive ways; whether it be from a traumatic event like a hurricane (which triggers a fear of dying or suffering) or from rejection (triggering feelings of loss & judgment) or from the piling on of negative “events” outside your control (triggering the fear of completely losing control of your life & freedom); the natural instinct is fight or flight.

If you fight, it creates more resistance.

If you run— or hide in walls–you are only delaying the inevitable.

Even being isolated in my brick fortress couldn’t stop my self misery from overflowing and seeping through. Even bricks get condensation and moisture on them causing rot, decay and mold.

Allowing these emotions to take that much space in your precious body keeps the cycle going. So where were my thoughts going if there weren’t any outside influences directly in my face to trigger me?

My thoughts were still in the offense. And in the offensive. I was still replaying my story of hurt or unfairness. I was justifying my pity party by remaining hidden in “safeness“.

In these moments, it’s important to find your ability to return to the place you left off!!! BEFORE these thoughts overtook your head! Return to when you felt safe & loved! Return to when you completely loved your innocent self before you built these walls around your heart. That might be your inner child. Your sweet innocent inner child.

This isn’t hiding your head in the sand. It’s preserving your energy & returning to taking care of what you can. The things that are right in front of you–not the “what ifs”.

It’s giving attention to your own fearful, cracked tender heart & telling it that it will survive this. Until then, you’re not going to be living in fear & drive wedges between those you interact with.

If someone is assaulting your character & you can’t bring yourself to thank them for making you see how much this is triggering in you–then return to love–silently in your own heart.
Before the fear came.
Before your thoughts of how awful they are to judge you. Thank them silently for making you realize how much you Need to return to loving thoughts of them & their painful journey that YOU MUST be triggering in them!
Being able to intentionally  thank anything that makes you realize you need more self-care & acceptance; (because kicking yourself or feeling guilty or fearful does not return you to a loving place of empowerment)– but being grateful can.

Turn off the TV if it’s causing stress & strain in the morning or at night. I feel this every time I watch the news before work: I’m irritable, fearful, driving angrier, not breathing deep & cleansing. In these moments of rumination and discontent– I’m not extending love to anyone or contributing to the healing of the world.

Love. It really is the answer to overcoming Every other emotion! Even if it's love you're giving to yourself. 

Tis better than holding myself captive in a cage of my own self sabotage design.

Return to love
We ALL need it– now and forever.

Self-Care Day

Although I don’t have a giant round window, sparkling chandelier, or even a free-standing tub; I do have a small quiet condo in the suburbs of the city.

Believe it or not, I can sit quietly, without any devices, on a Monday morning and hear nothing but the faint sounds of life doing what life does.

Today was the perfect day for my version of self-care. After a busy weekend moving my youngest daughter in, I woke up not feeling well. I spent the morning in a chasm of swirling thoughts about my son’s life in addiction and the legal ramifications of that.

Although I have chosen to emotionally support him and be available when needed; I do encourage treatment to him almost daily. I offer massive amounts of harm reduction. I keep writing to various people in the hopes that someone will come through with an idea and the resources to carry them out.

As door after door closes; I feel incredible sadness at my inability to make any headway with my son.

My son has been living in a different world than me. A world that scares me to the core.

He has been shot in the leg. He seen people die. He's been exposed to horrific things--both in person and on video. Things he choked up even trying to tell me. 

So even though he still has his signature traits of humor, introspection, and vision; the chemicals are changing his ability to see a way out. His logical reasoning to not make his situation worse –is on a break. His risk meter has been progressively getting weaker as he seeks out further methods of survival in the streets. Even though his words say one thing, his self sabotage makes him do another. His intention to fix everything tomorrow leaves him tired and struggling tonight.

Tomorrow brings darker places that welcome more deviant behavior to numb wounded souls yet it fulfills their human daily needs. 

He seems to be stuck in this pattern of chaos and hustling. He told me on Christmas he doesn’t have time for anything else but scrambling to survive. When I mention that it doesn’t have to be that way, he looks at me like I’m from another planet. I had to constantly tell myself that “No, this world is NOT normal. It’s not normal to be around shady and sketchy people doing shady and sketchy things while living in your truck.” Yet he seems so at home in that world.

His mind seems to operate on an all or nothing mentality. He’s either calling an old friend and proposing a half million dollar business opportunity (which the friend said yes!), to returning to chaotic use, the next week after a horrible fight with a person who holds the cards for certain aspects of his experience and his roles to fulfill.

I’m convinced he is hurting deeply. His problem isn’t unavailable options or lack of treatment facilities. His problem is that despite having a higher ego personality and high intelligence, he must be convinced that he doesn’t deserve success either in sobriety or business and relationships.

Despite his tough skin, the things that he’s been told must affect him. Things such as: He’s a horrible person and his addiction has been the most horrible thing known to man and that him relapsing is a spit in the face to all who’ve tried to help him. In which they packed up his things & put them out in the garage, as if he had the plague.

So I can judge his lifestyle all I want. I can listen to others who mutter, “When will he ever learn?” As they shake their heads in disgust but make no attempt to ask, “How can we help him? What can we do?”

My circle gets smaller and smaller in finding those who understand our predicament. There seems to be no one else who can offer help. I’m left to do my best every day to not think and worry about more trauma.

Bottom line, is that I will not let my inability to understand his actions keep me from loving him the best way I can. I refuse to treat him harshly and with vitriol and disdain. I refuse to cut off communication until he can “learn his lesson”, or “grow up”.

Even though I understand family fatigue and “giving enough chances”; the reality of my sons life being cut short is a statistical fact, due to a diagnosis of heart failure.

The chances of me losing my son before I die propels me to keep holding on, keep hoping, and keep loving as best I know how.

Yesterday I woke up the most incredible realization that my son was alive and today I did not have to mourn him, unlike so many others. This was tremendously comforting for me and helped in my gratefulness journey.

I still feel deep sadness most days. Sadness for what my son has lost. I know it pains him so deeply that he can’t break free of self-sabotage. I know he hates failure more than anything except maybe his fear of repeated failure. I know his family members’ reactivity and vitriol towards him bothers him deeply, which is why he stays away and isolates.

As for me, I can only keep loving the best way I know how. Knowing it may be my last interaction with my funny, strong, talented, lost, son.

I can keep remembering that there has to be a God that loves him even more than I do. A God who knows his struggles, who knows his heart. And who still sends tiny little miracles every single day to my son and to me. Via a yummy meal for him, or a flash of a joyful memory for me.

(Thank you Facebook memories)

Or maybe it’s just the realization that I have had an amazing life being the Mom to all my kids and gratefulness is truly the key to happiness.

And Love of course. Which I will continue to do. And carve time out for my own self care daily/ weekly.

Love is the most divine healer –Val Kilmer

Quiet Suffering

I heard the squeak and the roar of the Monday morning trash pickup as it crept through the neighborhood. It was always a loud wake up call- on the dot-at 6:30 am. The brakes, the lifting of the cans, the dumping. Then the steady, beeping horn, signaling the truck’s reverse gear.

The air was thick with a cold January breeze- always threatening a new winter storm. This day, like so many others lately, was not a typical Monday morning grind day. This day was going to be a “mental health day” for me. Sounds wimpy, I know. But the reality is, over the last 2 years, I’ve had at least 2 a month sometimes up to 5. Yes, it hits hard on the budget, but I can’t seem to help it.

Emotional overload is a thing. 

Some days, the emotional energy required to function outside of my ‘safe’ house is astronomical. The mental anguish that is like a not-so-silent black and white film- always running in the back of my head- is exhausting.

People who delight in telling me how horrible my son is,

Seem to think that they are giving me some new information that I’ve never thought of. Not that I think he’s horrible, nor will I ever entertain the “lets bash the black sheep drug addict” crowd by talking shizz about my 35 year old very lost, very in trouble, son.

What they don’t know is that the rolling script of everything that he’s done and continues to do, plays over and over in my mind constantly. The brief glimpses of sobriety and in- person interactions that I get with him always seem to be criticized that I do too much, or that I hang onto his every word, or that I have too much hope that he has really turned the corner.

They’re not wrong

I DO do those things. I DO have too much faith sometimes. I do hang on his every word. Trying to figure out the chaotic mind of the person I birthed who still eludes all rational thought and reason. 

I do those things because I know the time is limited. This moment shall pass. He is like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. Sometimes, in those brief moments I have physical eyes on him; I catch him staring off into the distance even as he is rushing to get somewhere. I see his torment. His struggle. So many people want so many things from him that his unhealed brain can’t promise.

Yet he still does what he has always done:

Spin a great tale about this or that; starting another business, building tiny homes, or taking on the world of concrete again.

He wants to. I know he does. He wants to be known for his success again. He wants to be respected. He wants to be worthy of people’s ( family) time and attention. He was looking so forward to being able to see his kids again🥅

What I see that no one else sees, is his pain. His actions depict an uncaring addicted person who can’t get off the spinning wheel and who can’t seem to follow the legal requirements to break out of it’s grasp. But I see that all those things are an attempt to fix an internal problem. He hates when I say that. He won’t admit anything.

I’m not the textbook addict who has had trauma”. He would say.

I can hear his voice saying it now.

Maybe not trauma, per say- but I hear deep pain- in those moments of frustration, when he makes the call to me to vent. It’s not very often. It’s like a pattern of when he takes 2 steps forward, that are not enough, because it was supposed to be 3, so he falls back 5.

His anguish and fear and disappoint come through in those moments of realization that he will never be good enough or reach high enough for some- especially the legal system who now have brought up charges from 9 months ago.

To him, the goal is completely out of reach.

Why bother? Says the defeated unhealed brain.

Despite his pre-drug life of reaching every goal he worked day and night for; now his damaged brain and reward system can’t think that far ahead. He’s still in survival mode. When he was searching for jobs to re-enter the workforce, I caught a glimpse of the man afraid to fail. He casually mentioned that some of the jobs would be too much responsibility, too stressful for what he could manage in early recovery. I couldn’t believe it- after all his experience. But it was honesty. A brief glimpse into his vulnerability of failure.

He knew one thing he was good at. Hustling. And within a week of seeing the reality of his sobriety challenges including the “correctional system”; he was back doing what he does. Hustling and bustling. At first he was trying to get enough money to help himself and his kids. Then he realized it would never be enough and he was back into the life of isolating and hiding from warrants. Like a snap of the finger, he was gone.

So now, he’s a liar, I hear. Projection- that he never intended to do anything. Fulfilling the stigma of the drug addict who’s incapable of keeping his word.

The circle continues- shame- blame- hope- disappointment – failure.

We were all guilty………again. Of placing so much responsibility and expectations so soon onto a brain that was slowly trying to figure out life without the safe covering of substances to dull it. But we won’t be called out, because the addict is always the scapegoat now. For anything that goes wrong.

Steven Covey used to say:

“People are very tender, very sensitive inside. I don’t believe age or experience makes much difference. Inside, even within the most toughened and calloused exteriors, are the tender feelings and emotions of the heart.”

So yes. I’m aware of my sons failings and flailings. I was told that I should stop listening to what a drug addict tells me and that I should put my time and energy elsewhere.


Let me turn off my mind and my heart.

But first I need a “sick day”.

A Monday morning mental health day.

Tomorrow hasn’t even begun and your chest is already tight and your heart is racing just thinking about this week.

I get it. It can be so easy feel trapped in a downward spiral when we begin to think about everything we have on our plates. All the things that could happen or go wrong. All the emotions that come with the unknowns.

But may I remind you, dear one, God has already been through this week. He knows what’s going to happen, it doesn’t surprise him. He knows when you will be anxious this week, and he’s already preparing you to fight that anxiety. He understands you are having a hard time trusting his goodness over life right now, and he is strengthening you by his Spirit.

Take a deep breath in.

Remind yourself of his perfect sovereignty.

Lift your eyes up to the heavens.

Speak his name as you let your breath out.

Allow yourself to be still.

It’s more of him and less of everything else you need to hear right now.

Feel your heart beating in your chest.

It’s already slowing down and your chest doesn’t feel quite so tight.

Do you feel that?

That’s the peace of the Holy Spirit that passes any kind of human understanding or reasoning. And it’s that same peace that will be ready for you every moment of this hard week ahead.

Grasp it tight, knowing it’s your saving grace.

Trust its strength, believing in its perfect power made strong in your weakness.

Believe fully, knowing just how loved you are and how freely this gift is given to you as a woman hidden in Christ.- From Blacktop to Dirt Road

Against A Crooked Sky

As I drove through the windy canyon, the familiar rolling hills of my hometown gave way to the rows of turkey coops dotting the fields. The wide open blue country sky was a welcome reprieve from the city. Years ago, raising turkeys was the main livelihood for the country farmers. As a child, I would help my dad drive the trucks between the feeders to fill them up with grain. That shy little blonde girl roaming the countryside, looking for another adventure; seems like a million eons ago.

I had been making this trip more and more recently. To see my boys, all three of them- in the same town together! Finally, after many years of living in different parts of the state, they end up just 2 houses apart. Jobs, families, and that creep- addiction had separated our family and torn it to shreds. But the last 3 months were a true miracle. My eldest son had done a complete 180 and turned his life completely around. It took a brush with death- a new scary heart diagnosis, but it still was his choice.

His new mindset was completely focused on becoming legal again, resolving his court cases, trying to reunite with his kids, and forging a new career where he could meet all his financial obligations. Well, that and surviving heart disease too.

Most of those went smoothly but not effortlessly, although he has a way of making it seem so.

My goal and purpose with this trip and others was to enjoy every second I had with him and my other kids.

I wish I could capture the feeling of opening up Facebook and seeing my son doing life. Eating out, going to the lake, kayaking, riding ATVs. Things they had done together 4 years ago, now seemed like nothing had ever come between them.

I wish I could take this feeling of relief and gently hand it to every hurting Mom. I wish I could share my splintered heart whose gaps are being filled up with small mementos of my much-awaited hope.

Hope that I spent years clinging to. Yearning. Aching for moments that I have now. Along with it comes tinges of guilt. For those who are still suffering.

Maybe it's a bit like survivors guilt.

I vividly remember the anguish. The sleepless nights. I see certain pictures and it all comes back. The endless worry and feelings of powerlessness. The minute to minute panic of the perpetual other shoe dropping. I felt like I was running, running against the crooked sky.

Now I finally see the rainbow. The light at the end of the tunnel. The bliss of joy. Of relief.

I know that this good fortune could run out at any time, so it’s all the more reason, why I am covering myself in it. Soaking in his victories and just loving on him any chance I get. I think I’ve hugged him more in the last 3 months than 36 years. If only I could package up those hugs. Package up his essence, his joy. His smile every time I see him.

One of his little nephews asked if he was always so fun and pleasant, and we told him yes, he was. Later he can be told that sometimes drugs mask these qualities and that’s what the last 3 years were like. For now, it’s healing time.

I had this written on my chalk painted wall for an entire year.

If I could gift this feeling to other hurting Moms, I wouldn’t wrap it in a fluffy tissue bag with a pretty bow and a tag that says live, laugh, and love.

Instead, I would give them a bright glowing golden heart with the message: hold-on, hope-on, and heal-on.

A heart of intention, covered in precious dew drops of the tears of a thousand moms mourning the child they once knew. The dew would glisten and shine brightly to lead the way to give them hope. Hope that everyone's heart can heal. I would pass its energy onto trembling hands that have no idea what's in store. 

I would cover those trembling hands with all the love and faith I could carry, gently warming them into a slow breathable calmness. Telling them to trust, to hope, to have faith that there is someone who loves them and their child even more.

Someone who has them gently wrapped in the palm of his hands ever so strongly, knowingly.

When the pain is almost unbearable, and they feel alone, they can hold on to that heart and connect to their loved one, wherever they may be.

When you can't see the light, the Rainbow. You can't see any way out. Come back to your heart. That's where the God of your understanding lies. That's where your peace is. 

As my friend Joanne so lovingly states:
That's where your safety lies.  That's where your child is safest.
In your own heart 💜

The Spiderweb Trap

I’m having a fight with Charlotte. Charlotte watches me. I watch Charlotte. Charlotte is a lot smaller than me, but she still scares me.

I first met Charlotte- or Charlotte’s work– when I saw a little web over a picture frame in my bathroom window. I cleaned it off and forgot about it. A few days later, I noticed it again. I took everything off the window sill and scrubbed it down. A few days later – there it was again.

This happened 2 more times. I couldn’t ever see the creator of the web, but she was certainly persistent.

“Where was this master spinner at?”

Does she have a home that she spends time at and her web is just her workplace that she goes to at certain hours? A few days later, I finally captured the elusive spinner as she sat admiring her work, I’m sure.

Dang, it was a white spider which my superstitious Mom (rest in peace) always said never to kill or it would bring bad luck.

So here I was, seemingly held hostage by a tiny monster that I didn’t dare get rid of. Things were just starting to look wonderful, I didn’t need any more bad luck.

I didn’t dare risk it. So here we sit. Charlotte ruling the house from behind her magical screen like some wizard of oz behind the curtain.

As I watched this video by Joe Dispenza, it occurred to me that like him, Charlotte is more concerned with the future than the past. She doesn’t care how many times her home is wrecked, she’s gonna rebuild. Whatever my thoughts or opinions are about her, she won’t let it stop her. She’s gonna do her thing to live and survive the best she can.

What can I learn from this meager little powerhouse of an insect? That no matter what anyone else says or does, we can stay true to our own purpose, to our own joy and satisfaction.

We can spin our web however we want to. It’s OUR story. OUR pain, our joy.

Of course, connecting with others is human. We can’t really hide in a corner and entrap anything that comes along with vitriol and spitefulness. But we can heal enough so that we aren’t affected by others’ actions.

We can then open our hearts with love which like Joe says in turn opens up our neurons that expand [just like a spider web] and leads our brains to new ideas and learning. Staying stuck closes us off from open hearts and open minds.

How to heal? How to change our thoughts?

Joe describes it as waking up in the morning with a blank slate and NOT by focusing on our problems from yesterday. How much webbing could Charlotte get done if all she thought about was Euyore-like thoughts “It will probably just get crushed by some giant human hand in a giant white paper towel? Why even try?”

It’s fine to think about what needs to be done to fix things but not things that are out of our control. Joe says to use our thoughts to reaffirm our future – not to condition us to stay stuck in our past.

He states the way to do this is by visualizing your affirming thoughts. In other words, think about what kind of person you want to be such us loving and kind, not reactive and suspicious. Think of things you want to have happen. Things you want to do. Your brain doesn’t know the difference of whether you’re actually doing it or not, so it will start creating new proteins that reflect those activities and characteristics. This is actually creating a new YOU!

He talks about achieving “coherence between brain and heart” which makes synchronicity that creates a “laser focus” of information back and forth. This helps with stress, and reactivity, with patterns that no longer serve us. It creates new thoughts which turn into actions that create more opportunities in our lives so we don’t feel stuck in this web of negativity.

My hope is that we can use our magic to spin our webs of love. To catch joy and light into the strands of thoughts we produce. To reaffirm our beauty and our true selves into our own webs of life. To be able to find where our power and peace lie- free from past conditioning so we can be open to receiving more love and peace.

Summer Ducks, Eggs & Life

Behind my house, down the street, a ways, is a peaceful little urban fishing pond. It sits almost hidden among the 5 story apartments and towering businesses.

When I first moved to my little condo in 2016, I was thrilled when I came upon this jewel. It took me back to my country childhood full of ponds, rivers, and mountains. One of those rivers was the Sanpitch River.

The San Pitch River, extending 65 miles, is the primary watercourse of the Sanpete Valley and drains into the Sevier River in southwestern Sanpete. The river is named for the Ute chief Sanpitch, who also gives his name to the San Pitch Mountains and Sanpete County. Wikipedia

Many summer days were spent at that river despite it being a muddy, nasty adventure. It was common after swimming to climb into the shore and see your feet covered in little white bloodsuckers. We would scream and dance around and brush them off then jump on our bikes and ride home.

My urban duck pond is a bit cleaner, but not much. It’s full of debris and duck yuk but draws a few fishermen a day.

It has an attached playground and grassy area plus a Ferrell cat feeding area. On many hot summer days I would take my little chihuahua to the cool green grass and spend an hour or so.

On my most recent trip, I took a seat on the grass between the tall feather reed ornamental grasses and the ducks resting on the side. I looked over and noticed an egg sitting between me and the ducks.

Since it wasn’t in a nest, I could only assume the mother duck abandoned it due to it not being viable.

As I watched the ducks bask in the sun and stretch their wings; ignoring the egg; I couldn’t help but wonder how the mother knew the duckling had died. As I googled it, I came across this article about a duck who was retrieved from a mother and saved.

Mother duck dies, but removed egg hatches 26 days later

This sweet duck story could not have been more of a coincidence to my family’s situation right now. Some of my family members are exploring surrogacy to obtain a child for someone who doesn’t have any of their own. It’s radical since we have never done anything like this before. It’s exciting too.

I know that’s a little different than duck eggs but I couldn’t deny the relevance.

As I watched the ducks enjoy their day I thought of that abandoned egg in relation to just a few months before in my life. I have felt like I was fighting the battle of my son’s opioid addiction alone without a lot of family support for years. My husband has come a long way in his attitude toward addiction although he has always supported me and my efforts. It seemed to be just me and him against this monster of addiction that throws every axe and hot flame into every plan of action possible.

But 6 weeks ago on May 28th that all changed. My son was in ICU for difficulty breathing and low oxygen. He was intubated for 6 days. He was given a diagnosis of heart failure and given an unknown but bleak prediction of life expectancy. The cardiologist made it clear that the heart can only heal once so his lifestyle was paramount in making that happen.

The most amazing thing about it is the family support he and I received. His family rallied around him and he was even able to see his sweet daughter for the first time in years. I can’t even tell you how much of a difference that makes. The relief, the weight of the world seemed to have been taken off my shoulders and his. He couldn’t stop talking about it. I believe it made the difference between him giving up on life and going back to a lifestyle that would surely kill him.

I watched the ducks race to the water and seemingly play with each other. Or were they fighting over bugs? Whatever it was, they had to learn to survive and get along 24/7 in the confines of that pond. Some days I’m sure it’s a duck-eat-duck world, but ultimately they learn to survive and thrive.

Awee. My little fishing pond and the ducks that have been my summer friend for over five years now. They bring me a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of the city all while teaching me about life and survival. And now that life feels like a lot less pressure and despair, I’m hoping these ducks and this pond will bring me more joy and beauty until the cold winds of winter descend. Until then, I will enjoy the massive heat wave we are experiencing and find balance and joy in all seasons.

Mint Plants

How can a plant help us see our lives in full circle? What can a few leaves, some dirt and a pot teach us about life?

What we think will never change- one day, suddenly changes!

That’s what!

I have 2 Mint plants. The one on the left was the healthy big one when I bought them. The next one over was a measly lifeless scraggly plant that was half the price. I had hope at first that I could save it, but soon decided it might not make it & I had the thought to toss it. After I trimmed the leaves off the healthy one, to put in my drinking water, it slowly died. Soon after, the second one took over & came to life & is now reaching for new heights. It’s growing up toward the skylight in my kitchen.

Funny thing is, there have been times in my life when I was the plant on the left. Other times the situation was exactly reversed.


Don’t ever think you are destined forever in your troubles.

If I’ve learned anything in my short (5`3″) life, is that no matter how I feel or what just happened to me, it won’t last.

I KNOW it will change. Little by little I’ll feel better or something grand will happen out of the blue. Things have a way of working out. It’s just so hard to wait. Whatever it takes to get your mind clear & feeling better during that time is paramount. It’s taken me a lot of years to learn what I need to do to get to that place.

Had I learned it sooner, it might have saved a lot of heartaches. 

I was in the place on the left just one month ago. I thought all is lost, there’s no hope. But almost everything I have hoped for the last few years has happened.

I feel blooming.

Light. Hope. Happiness. Redeemed. Grateful.

Even- dare I say it? Joyful.

I wish I could say it was of my doing, but I can’t. My mood transformation is nothing short of a miracle. My family has come together like a forest full of lush blooming, sweet smelling greenery. The love and support which I thought was a distant dream, has magnified ten- fold. Amidst heartache and pain, it has blossomed deep family bonds that can only move forward.

I believe we can create our own miracles in the midst of struggle. Not by controlling others, but by honing in on our emotions and thoughts to pull us out of the depths of utter darkness.

Find your place & pull yourself up to it. Go toward the skylight. Find your Sun. Somedays you’ll be on top of the world. But be oh so humble when you are there. It can change in an instant. And don’t ever look down at that scraggly plant & think that you’re better than it. Both of you have the same innards inside. The same potential to be your greatness! It just might be hidden from the onlooking world. You both will ebb & flow thru life· So just be kind. Mostly to yourself.

When you are kind to yourself and others you can enjoy the flow so much more.

Remember to never, ever give up. Possibilities exist that are beyond our thinking when we are sinking. Faith in these possibilities, is a learned skill if you don’t naturally have that positivity.

Just remember:


Depression, Faith, Hope

If there’s one thing I’ve learned the last few years, is it’s ok to not know.

It’s ok to not know what the future holds. It’s ok to not have everything planned out. It’s ok to not know what the world will look like next year. I’m learning to trust by faith.

Faith over hope.

As I stated in this post, there’s a difference. In the process of just trusting, we may have some depression or sadness. As I listened to my audible tape “Care of the soul” on my way up to a camping trip yesterday, I listened with curiosity as he describes depression as a needed thing sometimes. It gives that space to reflect, to heal, to process. We don’t always have to live in this happy positive unauthentic state.

Anyone who’s experienced a “Dark night of the Soul” knows that you ultimately come out a better person. After all:

You can't know light without experiencing the dark. 
Notice dark night of the soul is about confronting of your own ego story and resistance to darkness. Facing the inner darkness is not about becoming evil. It is not an impossible task, cannot overwhelm or even harm what is real. It’s about accepting and integrating all of you. Inner darkness is the fear of seeing something you do not want to see, something that shakes up your conditioned understanding of the world and how it works. It is also the fear of feeling something you do not want to feel. Humans are taught by society how to hide these aspects of self. We are taught fear is a weakness. So we are taught to deny or avoid what evokes discomfort, taught to focus attention on things that feel good and overlook corruption, social-cultural mistreatment, abuse, exploitation of living creatures, Earth and human beings and energetic brainwashing of beliefs we come to hold. Many humans think they can run from their inner darkness. This is what is projected into the external world and what is arising to the surface as you are ready to acknowledge it and see things as they are. Some people go to great lengths to do all kinds of good deeds in effort to erase, counterbalance, or avoid recognizing discomfort. Yet, wherever you think you go, here it is. When unconfronted, darkness thrives. It exists when you don’t look at it. This is the nature of the dark. It is absence of light. Just start to turn and look at it, and it is evaporating. In dreams, face what is chasing you. Watch it disappear.” – Liara Covert

There are so many things in my life to be grateful for right now. When the little shadow of fear that lingers ever so strong in the shadows of my soul, starts to sneak up on me; I just have to grab onto my faith.

Faith that everything will work out for the best. I will have enough money to meet my needs. I will have a job. My kids will be ok. My grandkids will make it in their own way.

I am enough and I have enough- always.

By acknowledging what drives my depression or my worry ( fear) I can hopefully send it on it’s way and leave me in peace.

“Depression is caused by overconsumption. Overconsumption is caused by obsession. Obsession is caused by fear. Fear is caused by an absence of love. An absence of love is caused by a belief in others. A belief in others is caused by a label called others. A label called others is caused by a need to organize life into some form of understanding. A need to organize life into some form of understanding is caused by an inability to trust life as it is.

By loving the one who doesn’t know how to trust life as it is, the need to organize life into some form of understanding dissolves. As this occurs, a belief in others can be recognized as a belief in a label called others. Beyond the play of labels, a love that knows no other emerges from within you. As love emerges, you are absolved of fear, the tendency to obsess, or the need to over consume, at the rate in which the one who is depressed is embraced with equal respect, support, and heart-centered attention.

As depression is loved as never before, it becomes a vital stage of emptying out. As you empty out, the seed of ego dissolves to create space for the blossoming of consciousness. This allows depression to be a pivotal stage of growth and expansion, instead of something to fight, ignore, or avoid.” – Matt Kahn

What is the Difference Between Faith and Hope?

Faith, Hope & Vision

2021 started out to be about
👓 ᴠɪsɪᴏɴ 👓. Vision that didn’t happen in 2020. I wanted clarity more than anything. I was wrought in despair at where things were going.

During the year, it evolved to be more about нσρє.

нσρє that my people would feel safe & loved.

нσρє that bonds would be strengthened

нσρє that forgiveness would melt away pain & struggle.

нσρє that effort would override inadequacy.

I hoped beyond hope for those things- even if I didn’t completely understand everything or have clarity.

Miraculously, by the end of the year, I have received all that and more. Every night I thank God for my blessings. I still feel somewhat in awe at the goodness. I can hardly believe the miracles. True miracles that have happened in my family. Hearts burrowed in resentment were opened wide with love, if even for a day. Things evolved into the absolute best possible scenario. Step by step moving forward with positivity. But as usual, everything’s not perfect.

I still struggle with letting go. Letting go of the outcomes, and letting go of trying to control people.

I struggle with peace. Feeling peace in all things. Feeling peace amid chaos. There are times I don’t want to go on. The battle seems too big. My imagination gets the best of me or I see that blatant truth that some things will never change, and it pains my soul. I question what the point is.

These are times when I have to turn to music to calm myself. This one feels peaceful and helps me not feel alone.

I don’t know how long I have left on this earth. I don’t know what will happen in the time I have left. I only hope I’ve done enough good to be remembered by. As I read this quote by Mr Rogers, I know that not only do I need to accept others as they are, I need to extend that same love to myself too.

When all seems lost, when emotions are at their peak, when expectations turn into dust in the wind, we still have this little thing called ᖴᗩITᕼ.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that people are basically good.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that people are always doing the best they can at the time.
ᖴᗩITᕼ that things will always work out the best way they need to.
& Having ᖴᗩITᕼ that ᒪOᐯE will always prevail-if we let it.
Letting Others
Voluntarily Evolve.