Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stillness and Light

   I have been chasing after kids. Literally, I have been following them around holding them accountable for what their mother asks of them. It is hard work. So, today I needed stillness. The best way to get stillness when you have four children with you is to take them into the forest. Much the same happens at the beach. Nature caresses, soothes, and lulls the loud right out of us. I told my grandchildren that I had an intention today. I intended to see and feel the light.

     Light plays hide and seek in the forest. It illuminates and then moves on to another spot. Always roving through branches, leaves, and bush. I bring up the rear of a gang of hikers who are remarkably peaceful, if not totally quiet.

    We listen for birds, smell the musty raindrops which fell hours before, and always follow the light.

    My favorite forest trail is the Fisher Pond Nature Preserve. I like seeing how it changes from season to season. The salmon berries are gone. We missed the window of opportunity to forage on their sweetness. But, huckleberries and blackberries are coming soon.

    I forget the soothing balm offered by the natural world. My overburdened mind finds such comfort in trees and especially the ever changing shine of the sun. Mother Earth and Father Sun have been here forever. I have existed forever, as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lost? Stay In Your Own Lane

       The roof above the indoor pool is open to the sky. As I stroke and paddle my eyes take in the moving clouds. I feel like we are racing, these clouds and me. The water splashes over my head and runs into my eyes. I hate the sting of clorine so I keep one eye shut. Suddenly I'm conscious of another swimmer too close and I turn over to get a grip on where I am. "Stay in your own lane. You were lost in thought and feelings of tranquility." It feels like that on dry land sometimes. I wander in my own world and notice that I've strayed from the lane I set out to follow.  It is an odd feeling to be disoriented for those first minutes wondering where I am. I am glad to find myself and straighten my course.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Revisiting My Six Habits Of Happiness

       After many weeks of pondering what makes me happy I  decided that there are six habits that add to my happiness.

  1. Prayer
  2. Gospel Study
  3. Movement
  4. Nourishing Eating
  5. Creative pursuits
  6. Service
  I have written about these habits each individually and collectively so I just wanted to report on their relevance in my life just lately. I have learned that it is hard to do these things a certain amount everyday. Lately I've spent many days in service to my family. When my time is tight I sometimes abandon nourishing eating or gospel study. Other times my creative pursuits are so compelling that I hide away in my studio. It seems that the glue that holds all six habits together is prayer.

Gretchen Rubin who wrote Happier At Home is currently writing a book about habits. I found her loopholes applicable in my life.

Loopholes to allow us to halt or break a desired habit.

1- False Choice- I can't do this because I'm busy doing….
2-Moral Licensing- I'm allowed because I've been good
3-Tomorrow it will be better
4-Lack of control over the situation- I couldn't do it because....
5-Apparently irrelevant decision - I was on my way to the gym when I remembered….
6-This doesn't count- I'm on vacation or I'm sick today
7-Questionable assumption-I have an appointment in two hours so it doesn't seem like I have time for….
8-Concern for others- this will bother so and so
9. Fake Self-Acculization -you only live once, go ahead and splurge
10. The One Coin Loophole- missing one day of study won't make a difference.

  I'm currently working on my movement habit. I figured out that since the gym is on the way home from taking my husband to work the best time to work out is then. I like problem solving like this. Why am I skipping the activities that make me happy? How can I make it happen daily? 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


   What am I worthy of? That question haunts my life. I run my hands over the words on the page. "You are worthy of love and belonging." Really? Am I? I search my heart for a feeling that it could be true. A spark deep inside reminds me that I am the child of a Heavenly Father first. Before I was a daughter of my earthly parents I was His. I still am His. For that reason and no other reason really counts, I am worthy of love and belonging.

                                               Perfection is not required but connection is.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.

Monday, June 9, 2014


     Clara listened intently to her friend's voice searching for signs that their commitment to meeting together every week was just too much.
   "I'm okay either way. You are so very busy and we can certainly skip our study together this time."
    Disappointment washed through Clara. Even though she was tired and empty she wanted to hear that getting together was essential to Sophie's happiness. But, perhaps it was not. After all, meeting once a week to study was far and beyond what she had ever asked from a friend. Yet, they had managed more than a year of weekly appointments. Some weeks Clara studied the material early on but other times cramming at 6:00am was the only option. By now three notebooks were filled with inspiring quotes and thoughtful ideas.
   "Alright, I suppose it is wise for me to take some time to rest before I go to work." Clara felt her heart drop. What did she really need? What was Sophie hinting at? The grade school mentality rose and she entertained the idea that she was not all that important to her friend. A imaginary road opened up before her eyes. There was a fork in the road. She had an opportunity to make a choice. She could pull in and feel rejected which would lead to a small wound the next time they got together, or, she could drive over to her friend's house and speak the truth.
   Clara knocked and waited. As Sophie turned the corner from the kitchen into the hallway she smiled.
   "I need you more than I need a nap or down time," Clara laughed sheepishly. "Can we talk?"

   As we hustle for worthiness in this mixed up world, one thing I'm learning is that I am worthy of love and belonging and when I approach you from that place of worthiness, you become worthy of the same.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I'm very aware of hands just lately. My grandchildren's hands in particular. They are very attractive to me as they work on art projects. I like how some of my Grands love getting messy and others very carefully avoid full contact with paint or glue. It tells me somethings about their sensibilities and helps me know them as individuals.

    My daughter-in-law has been laid up with pain from a broken leg. She lets her little ones gently move her aching toes. They are gentle for a few minutes then forget what they are doing. I am mindful for a limited amount of time. Then my mind wanders, too.

I have brand spanking, new twin grand babies. My hands seem so large as I hold their perfectness close to me and breathe in their angel scent. 

                  Hands are symbols of our desires. I pray that they do work that is helpful and loving.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully makes sense.