Tag Archives: gratitude

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.


massive change

In April I spent 10 days on the big island of Hawaii, in retreat with Vanessa Stone and 8 amazing friends. It was a truly heart- and mind-opening experience.

I am not going to write about the experience, not specifically and not here and now. But I will say that I left and returned home to Santa Cruz with some pretty clear realizations:

1. I want to and am ready to move to Austin, TX. To be near Vanessa Stone and her work with the Amala Foundation. To become more a part of that amazing organization and its humanitarian projects. And to simply reach out, broaden my horizons, welcome the world in.

2. I am not any longer interested in spending time worrying or analyzing. I am 100% committed to what is offered, to looking and seeing what is in front of me. To following the living map of my life, on a daily, hourly, breath-by-breath basis.

3. My foundation is my relationship to the core of my being, which I choose to call “God” or spirit, the absolute, pure love, the beloved. And that is where I will look for all guidance. Not outward. Not anymore.

So…I immediately was offered a place to stay in Austin for 6 weeks in June/July, for free, to housesit. My boss told me that he wants me to keep working for them (I already work remotely). I gave notice at my wonderful cottage by the creek. I’m finishing up this semester of school (mostly in the darkroom!), getting rid of all my stuff (again!) and hitting the road on June 11.

To say I am EXCITED would be a massive understatement.


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)


Okay, this is going to a slightly more wordy blog than the last few.

I realized this summer I have ADHD. Now that I’ve figure it out, I’m like, DUH.

So, that explains why I have always had a hard time with follow-through, why I am challenged to finish projects, why my heart aches and my head spins when I think of everything I want to do in my life, why multiple moving parts make me feel crazy. Why I acquired the label “underachiever” as a kid.

I believed them and blamed myself. Why was I an underachiever? Why didn’t I ever live up to my potential? I’m a smart girl, high marks on standardized tests. Why always the failure, the inability to stay focused, changing my mind, flitting about? For decades, I’ve lived with this intense self-judgement. Why can’t I get things done? What is WRONG with me?

I have blamed myself, and kept myself hidden, and pretended I could do it. Knowing, fearing, that I couldn’t. Trying again and again. Spending HOURS to read a scientific paper that other’s could wiz through. Taking hours too long to finish projects at a job where I had to bill my time by ten minute increments, and come in under budget. I couldn’t do it. I blamed myself, judged myself a failure.

I live by lists. But how to translate a long list into a day and a week’s organized life? Completely overwhelmed. Surfing the internet, or watching movies, to avoid the failure.

Now, I am getting ready to do something about it. This week, I’ll start neurofeedback. My housemate just happens to do it. It’s one of the only non-drug modalities that is really helpful for ADHD. So, I’m hoping it helps. The other alternative, which I’m not ruling out, is medication.

This post is a statement, a claiming, a notice that the stigma stops here. ADHD is not a crime and I’m not going to be ashamed of it. Depression, alcoholism, addiction—all of which I’ve struggled with in years gone by—are illnesses, brain disorders, chemical imbalances. I do not have to feel guilty about them. I CAN do something about them. And I will.

If you are reading and can relate to any of this, hold your head up, do not let the myth of shame bind you. You are free, beautiful and worthy of love, respect and friendship. If you meet people along the way who don’t see it that way, that is not your affair. Let them go. Be who you are. Heal. Grow. Love yourself. Feel how you are loved by this universe. Perfect how you are. However you are.


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.