Category Archives: Peace

sweet surrender

Ahhhh. That is how I feel right now. Accepting what is. The ups and downs. The flowing, changing world inside and outside of my being. My heart is stretching and finding a new shape. A softer path before me, a home inside the world.

The storm of the weeks after the Summit has subsided. In its wake, I found something I’ve sought for a long, long time: peace. Ironically, the peace I’m experiencing is not a state I have attained. It is not a state at all…it is a surrender. A letting go.

There is no longer a sense that I have to be some way, or some one, that I have to show up in a good-looking outfit with my hair just so, in order to be liked. I finally understand something crucial: the more authentic I am in any interaction, in any moment—the more people respond to me, appreciate me, know me and are moved by me. It is one of my roles in this life: to speak of the struggle and to bring it into the light. Everyone struggles. Everyone.

Welcome to the struggle of life. The peace we seek is within us, yes, but not like we generally have thought of it. It cannot be earned, like a good grade; it cannot be controlled. Peace is the boat on the ocean. It goes where the ocean goes.

Hafiz, great sufi poet, said: “Where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.”

Trust the living map of life as it unfolds before you. Know that the life you are living IS the “spiritual path.” Whether you recognize it or not, whether it matches your pictures or not. There is no where to go, no clothes to wear, no practices to adopt that will make you enlightened. Getting enlightened is not the goal, which is a good thing, because it, like peace, is also not attainable.

Surrender. Breathe. Come home to the heart, and live there. Let the heart listen to the soul, the connection to the god of your understanding. Let the heart be the instrument of seeing, and let the body-mind be ever in service to the heart.

This may not make sense, you may not have read this far. But if you have, thank you. I hope these words reach somewhere in you, that they bring you some amount of rest and peace. For me, the journey continues. I’m in search of a new home, and will be house sitting for the next 3 weeks or so in some lovely places. I am blessed; truly blessed.

I have followed my heart to Austin and here I am. I don’t know what the future holds; I have no plans beyond December. The only promise in following my heart is that I will then dwell in my heart. Which is plenty enough reward for this one.


Falling into the Mystery

If I seek the unbridled joy of being alive (and I do) then much is required. To crawl into the pain, nest there and pull it close around me. To sob until the tears turn to laughter. To sink into the silence at the core of being. To see God in everything, in every last piece of this crazy world.

I trust that process. I know that what is offered is all I could ever want. That the fullness of each moment constantly surrounds me, whispering of love.

As I come out of a period of deep depression, I find myself surrendered. Beaten to a joyous pulp, with nothing left to fight against. My heart has become the instrument of seeing. The mind divides and judges, but the heart pierces that veil. The heart can see clearly: that which animates galaxies and lovers and a child’s laughter also animates so-called evil. There is no separation. There is nothing “other.” Not really.

So I feel the embrace of the beloved, the god of my understanding, the force that manifests and sustains and destroys.

Olema Sunset I
Olema Sunset II
Olema Sunset III

The Moon, December 2011 and January 2012

One night my friend, Jen, and I went for a walk just after the sun went down, at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. Well, technically, it’s in Capitola. But, anyway. It’s this stretch of road, on the cliffs above beach and rocks, in a neighborhood. You just meander along, and look at the sky and the ocean below, and sometimes there’s a lot of surfers, sometimes just a few.

So, this night, I had my camera, and the moon was full, and it was cool. Really cool. Jen took a photo of me with the moon behind my head, and the streetlight lighting my hair. Do you see that moon, peeking from behind me? (Thanks, Jen. I love this photo!)

Then the next night, I was back down there alone, with a camera and a tripod. And I took some photos of the moon over Aptos and on the water.

Then another time, in January, Jen and I were down there again, walking, just at sunset (we walk together a lot). Someone had put these flowers in memorial for someone on a fence near the point where people watch the surfers. The moon was coming up behind them. I don’t know the person they were for, or why they were at that specific place.

Before I wrote this post, I walked outside my cottage in the mountains a few miles inland from the ocean. The waxing moon was sinking out of sight, behind the trees to the southwest. I almost jumped in my car and drove down to the beach for more moon photos. But, it’s late, and I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.


Today I realized that February is about forgiveness. This coming month, the theme and motivation and primary action of my life is to forgive. First of all, myself. And then anyone else I’ve ever blamed. And then the god of my understanding. And then the corporations, the republicans, the polluters, the species-extincters, my mother, my father, my siblings, my friends, that guy who cut me off the other day at the intersection of River and Water in downtown Santa Cruz. Everyone. And then, again, most of all, myself.

Come, Come, whoever you are!
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving.
Come. This is not a caravan of despair.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve broken your vow
a thousand times,
still come,
and yet again, Come!
(translated by Coleman Barks)

Day Two

I said I’m going to blog every day. Here’s the next day of blogging. Here I go. See me going?

Actually, blogging yesterday was quite amazing and helpful. I felt pretty good after I got done and it kicked me in the butt to get out the house and keep moving. That helps a lot.

So, I went and got my dog, Jake, who lives with other people now, and took him to the beach. That was super fun for him because he ran and ran and for me because I took photos of him running and running and it was just lovely there.

Then I had dinner with my friend, Dresden who is a poet and a friend from Mount Madonna Center and from the Global Youth Peace Summit. A kindred spirit. An inspiring voice.

I feel blessed this morning. Reminded that if you don’t like the weather in San Francisco (or my own mind), wait a few minutes. Or walk a few blocks.

Some photos I took at a silent morning activity at the Global Youth Peace Summit last month:

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lost and alone on some forgotten highway, don’t know where I’m going, not sure where I’ve been
looking for something that I can believe in
looking for something that I’d like to do
with my life
…words from a John Denver song

I recently got some John Denver CDs of albums I’d listened to over and over again when I was growing up. I realize how much those songs influenced me. Sometimes I cry remembering them, remembering the girl I was, the dreams I had, the life that’s happened instead of those dreams.

Now I sit, quietly, awake late at night, praying for acceptance. My own. Compassion for who I am and the decisions I made. Deep healing, deep letting go, deep remembering.

I feel grateful. So grateful. For life. For permission to live and grow, to finally accept things as they are. To accept me as I am.

I am not what anyone thinks I am. I’m not what I think I am. None of us are. We are fluid. We are only semi-boundaried. Mostly, we are water. No. Mostly, we are vast, empty space. Between the electrons and protons and neutrons within the atoms that make us up, we are mostly not. How strange is that? How free. We are empty. Unwritten black blank slates. Easily erased, easily rewritten.

ahhhhh…breathe deeply. sleep soundly. sending love out to the cosmos. to you.