Sunday, May 30, 2010

Glass Exhibit

I saw the most incredible exhibit of blown glass by Chihuly at Cheekwood today. It was terribly hot and humid, but worth the gallon or so of sweat I shed in order to get some truly otherworldly pictures. Some of them look like alien creatures, some like delicate flowers and others like graceful waterbirds, floating gourds or giant marbles. The colors, shapes and textures combined with those of the flowers, greenery and water to create a feast for the eyes. I loved it!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Flexibility is a wonderful thing wether it is used in yoga class or in life. I feel it's one of the lessons I'm learning through the current state of events in my life. I'd always thought of myself as a flexible person before, but looking back I realize I had a lot more rigidity than I would admit to myself. Take today as an example. I had planned to go down to the Farmer's Market with Riley, have lunch at one of the little eateries there, stroll around, buy veggies and find some cool things to take pictures of at the same time. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out that way. We got to the market, both of us hungry as all get out, to find the whole indoor section with the cafes was closed for renovation. So we hopped back in the car. On to plan B. I thought I would drive a little further into downtown and find a little cafe there to eat, again stroll around and find some cool picture opportunities. That too did not pan out. Turns out there was a huge graduation going on at the arena, mucho traffic and with my directional abilities I ended up a little turned around and not being able to find what I was looking for. So, on to Plan C-Riley and I ended up at BK. We ate lunch and then went to Moss Wright park and walked the trail a bit. I did get some lovely pictures of my beautiful "sweetcheeks" as she played on the playground and we ended up having a pretty good time. But certainly not what I had planned. In the past, I think I would have been very irritated and let it ruin any chance of having a fun day. But not today. Today I just went along with the flow and adapted, and it was nice. It was nice not to be uptight about things I can't control, and nice not to have to have everything just perfect and still be able to enjoy it. Nice to finish out the day with a smile on my face and a light heart knowing that all is well, even when life doesn't go according to my plans.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

chasing clouds

Today as I was leaving a friend's house, the sky broke open and the rain poured down. About 5 miles from home, it cleared and the sun was bursting through the clouds in glorious rays. I was sadly without my camera, so I rushed home, grabbed my equipment and jumped back in the car. My plan was to drive up the country road by our house until I could find a nice unobstructed view of the clouds to shoot. As I drove and shot and drove some more, I became so absorbed by the light and the scenery. The rays of late afternoon sun touched everything with a golden glow making even an ordinary field of hay bales seem almost magical. Driving with the window down, the smells of fresh mown grass and honeysuckle played on my senses, as did the warm, moist spring air. Each curve of the road enticed me to go further for glimpses of wildflowers, an unexpected flash of a red barn, a goat playing in a yard, rolling waves of grass meeting a sweet white farmhouse and above it all a glorious sky. It was all so lovely and sparked in me a yearning for some simplicity of life that I often lack. A simple way of living closer to what is important and less cluttered-less cluttered by things and by constant doing and worry. So I guess sometimes chasing clouds can really bring you down to an incredible way.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Well, tomorrow I go to the local community college to talk to an admissions counselor. How daunting is it to do that for the first time at the age of 46? But I guess it's better late than never, right?! I have no idea what I want to study or what career I hope to pursue. I just know I can't do massage forever. Today, I had an Ashiatsu massage, which is done completely with the feet,  so that may be an option to prolong the massage career somewhat. But I still think I need to begin preparing for an alternative. I'm thinking nutrition may be an option. There is certainly not a shortage of people who need help with their eating habits and I think it would tie in nicely with massage. Maybe one day I could own a mountain or beach retreat, where people go to improve their health through learning how to cook and eat healthfully and at the same time we could use massage to help with detox etc... hmmm, sounds like a good idea to me! I'd go.

Friday, May 21, 2010


A friend of mine posted a hilarious video on FB and I just sat in my room tonight and laughed like a I haven't laughed in a long time. And it felt so good. How does laughter do that? Is it the bible that says "Laughter does good like a medicine"? It is so true. It is like a medicine for our souls. I need to do it more often, let go of my seriousness and tap into the silly side. It makes me feel light and younger and set free of the weight of worry that I feel so heavily on me at times. It's as if I can block it (worry) out of the "surface" of my life, but am continually aware of the undertow beneath. But when I really laugh like that, I break free from the undertow itself. Like swimming freely in calm cool water, it's quite lovely!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Be a learner

"I divide the world into learners and non-learners. There are people who learn, who are open to what happens around them, who listen, who hear the lessons. When they do something stupid, they don't do it again. And when they do something that works a little bit, they do it even better and harder the next time. The question to ask is not whether you are a success or a failure, but whether you are a learner or a non-learner." Benjamin Barber

We are so focused on success sometimes that each time we attempt something and don't make it, we see it as a failure. But if we learn from it, it is anything but a failure. We like to say that life is not a destination but a journey. And the journey is all about what we learn - what we learn about ourselves, what we learn about others and the world around us. And let's face it, sometimes we learn more through the so-called failures than we do the successes. If we pay attention. If we say, "Hey, that doesn't work. Don't think I should do that again." If we have that awareness, then we've eliminated one of the ways that doesn't work and narrowed the field of choices that do. We are one step closer. We move one step closer to accomplishing our goal or one step closer to becoming the best version of ourselves-that person who is the most authentic "you" in all your glory!

So try, and fail, and learn, and grow, and then try some more. It's all part of the processes of knowing and becoming who you are truly meant to be!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I'm sorry to see that I can't seem to get back here to write more than once a week. Have I returned to my couch potato ways, you may be wondering? Heaven forbid!  But I have found that being unemployed can be the busiest of full-time occupations. I have been running around, dropping off applications, doing interviews, looking for opportunities, making business cards, checking into returning to school and creating websites. It's quite hectic.

In this process, I'm discovering many things. Discovering what is important and what isn't is right at the top of the list. And I'm realizing that I'm just not willing to waste time on the things that are unimportant to me anymore. There are people that sadly fall into that category as well. Not that they aren't important as people-they just aren't the people that I now choose to have in my life. Maybe that sounds selfish, but I see it as a strength. This life is so fleeting. Why squander such a precious commodity on triviality?

And I find myself excited at the new prospects ahead of me. Each day seems to morph, evolve and change as it progresses. I'm never quite sure where it or I will end up at the last. At first, this was a completely un-nerving fact to the woman who thrives on order and schedules and such. But now, I am coming to see it as an adventure. An adventure that reveals what the universe has in store for me that day. Each day brings growth and progress and new beginnings and awakenings. And like a flower, I am so very grateful to be experiencing each one as it blooms into it's fullness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What lies beneath?

I heard someone say this week "Now I know what's underneath carpet," as we were pulling up the soggy wet mess. And as the week wore on, I realized that now I know what lies beneath lots of things.

I know what is beneath sheet rock. Sometimes it's insulation and sometimes it's empty where insulation should have been. Not so different from what lies beneath people's smiles. Sometimes there is substance to their warmth and sometimes a hollow void. I've realized that some of the people I've thought would be there in a crisis, probably wouldn't I've heard them say "I'd like to help, but I don't like to touch dirty things". So I know, if my life gets dirty, or messy, or hard, they will not be the ones to roll up their sleeves and help me clean it up.

And sometimes beneath sheetrock there are sturdy studs and a strong foundation. I never knew they was there. They didn't make the house more beautiful or elaborate, but they held on through the flood. And so too are some people-quiet, strong and steady. The floods of troubles that wash through their lives or the lives of those around them will not wash them away. They will be the same person you knew them to be in good times as they are in bad. In fact, maybe even better because they are thing that does not get swept away.

And I even found out a little about what lies beneath my own facade. I'm not sure you can ever really know what kind of person you are till you are tested. There is the person you hope you are and then there is the person you really are when times are tough. And I found out one thing about myself. I am stronger than I thought. I will never feel like a "helpless female" again. I have found the strength inside to do things I never thought I could-physically and emotionally. I can withstand and  I can do much more than I knew. And that is good to know.

So...what lies beneath the face you present to the world? Is it all you desire it to be? If not, why not change it? Why not become the person you always hoped you would be? I know this trial is showing me that which I need to change and that which is good and strong-the stuff I need to rip out and throw away like soggy, moldy sheetrock, and the stuff I need to acknowledge and fortify like the sturdy beams and foundation.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Flood day 4

There are so many things running around in my head and I'm so very tired that I can't promise this post won't be a tumbled, jumbled mess...but here goes.

I am trying to come up with an adequate way to put into words what my experience has been like these past few days as I try to do some small part to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by the floods. Here's the best way I can describe it:

Think of moving day and how bone-weary all-out exhausted you are when you get all your belongings to your new home. Now picture taking the hose and soaking down everything so it weighs about 3 times what it should. Then picture dragging this heavy load not to a shiny new home, but to the curb to be picked up by sanitation services. Oh, and then pull out all the carpet, padding, insulation, flooring and dry wall remembering that the water it is soaked in is a fetid mixture of sewer, diesel fuel and god only knows what else. This is the part I've experienced, the physical part. And it is horrendous and crushing, but my muscles will heal. The rest I've only witnessed.

Now think about every sweet memory you possess in pictures, cards, letters, trophies, souviniers, babies first lock of hair and more. And think of the crushing emotional weight of having to sort through those things only to realize most of it will join the remains of the rest of your earthly possessions on the curb to be picked up like trash. And then think of having lost your husband, wife, mother, brother, son, daughter or pets as well. And possible your livelihood. It is completely incredible to me that any human being survives something like this.

To say it has made me realize what is important is an understatement. There are events in your life that will change it and you forever. Your life will never be the same after you come through those events and this is certainly one for me. I am re-examining everything about my life and myself. What is truly important? Why am I here? How have I lived so shallowly until now? And how can I change that in the future. How could I fail to change it, having experienced such things. This is definitely not a "aren't i so great" moment because I'm getting my hands dirty. It's more of a why haven't I been getting my hands dirty for the past 40 years? Why haven't I spent myself on doing things that really matter? I'm going to find a way to live this out every day. Not just during the flood recover, but every day after that as well. Maybe the flood has washed away some of the debris of triviality from my soul. I certainly hope so!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flood day 3

Yesterday I went down to one of our small communities that was hard hit by the flood. There were a bunch of people gathering to help neighbors, no red cross or other organization like that. We helped three different families to clean up and return furniture to dry parts of their houses etc...It felt really good to be doing something. I have to admit that helping is really doing so much more for me than anyone else. I know if I were sitting at home I would be going crazy worrying about not having a job and how I'm going to survive. And it's not that I'm not trying to come up with ideas and a plan. I sat down with a friend last night and brainstormed and we came up with good solid things to do. But right now people need help and right now I need to be helping. I need to move, and do, and channel my energy to something positive, and to feel like I have a purpose! It makes me feel stronger and more in control instead of defeated and controlled by the circumstances.

Tomorrow we are getting the spa people together at Annie's house. We miss each other. I told Annie I felt like we have not only lost our jobs, but our families as well. The people I work with are like another family to me and I'm determined to keep them close. Hopefully we can cheer each other, support each other and brainstorm on ways to get through this.

The sun is shining, sky is blue and you would never know there was anything wrong in the world at this moment! Soak it in and just be.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This has been a wild weekend with emotions swinging from despair to elation and back again. The rains came down, and came down, and came down some more. I was so thankful that my friends and family were safe and none of us had been seriously harmed or displaced from our homes. Only to wake up this morning to find my job is under about 10 feet of water. I've heard estimates of 3 months to Christmas time for reopening and none of that gives me the warm fuzzies. I know the news likes to dramatize things, but what if they are right? I don't have the means to go 3-6 months without a job. I have no idea how to be unemployed. I've worked since I was 14. It's just not a word in my vocabulary.

I'm trying not to let myself panic or assume the worst. I keep telling myself perhaps this will be the catalyst for me to find something better and more fulfilling, allowing me to move more towards what my heart has been seeking. I've got to keep myself positively focused so that I can attract what I desire and not what I fear. Right? Focus on the good, on the possibilities, on the doors that might be opened, on the strength that this will build in me. Only if I keep myself focused on the positive, can I be of any help to myself or others. So I'm looking for the silver lining to this dark cloud. How can I grow, how can I help, how can I move forward to end up better than when I started?