Wednesday, August 28, 2013


This noon, a friend and I learned as we were finishing our lunch that another group of diners had paid our check for us.  Doesn't that just make you smile?  I've thought about it a few times since and I keep returning not to the fact that lunch was free today, rather, to the generosity of spirit that made a stranger decide to do something quite unexpected and nice for another human being.

As we learned our fortune, I smiled at my friend and said, "we get to pay it forward another day!"  It makes me smile even more anticipating that I can make another human being feel the way I've felt today.

As it turns out, there was business attached to my lunch.  We were discussing ways that I could help by volunteering to do some writing for the non profit charitable organization she works for. We were discussing how magical it is when a group of like minded people get together to create good for their community, we were discussing giving.  And look what the Universe provided -a reason to be even more excited about and grateful for generosity of spirit.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

tiny meditations

Friday afternoon, five-ish, and I am gripping the handle of my Walmart shopping cart, standing in a place that I hope is out of the way, silently but ferociously asking the Universe for loving patience to undo the shitty negative attitude that has formed not only in my mind but was creeping into my whole presence.  People had almost run me over with their carts full of junk food and soda, toddlers had assaulted my ears with incessant and shrieking complaining about what they wanted and were not getting, mothers responding to children with barely controlled mania,  all around me a microcosm of the world in which we live; messy, needy and loud.  Before stopping for this tiny meditation, my inner voice was mean, rotten, impatient and judgemental.

While I was imploring asking the Universe to step in, I heard a little 'ding' and looked at my smartphone.... Could this be the Universe responding?  I looked at the message from a friend I had seen the night before (along with his wife), and I read, "We have determined that you are probably one of the sweetest human beings we know".  I replied, "nuh-uh".  I was further from sweet than a cloud is to the earth in this moment.   Then I sent another message, "I had stopped to ask the Universe for a less shitty attitude when I got your note. lol".  His reply, "Good.  Get over it."  (If you ever read my blog, Roy, Thanks, Doc.)

This tiny exchange halted my momentum and underlined my need for Universal intervention. It also proved that a negative attitude isn't me, its my choice.  Stop.  Refocus.  Smile.  Remember the power of tiny meditations where ever I find myself; take back my power to be positive; take back my power to love others even in their unflattering moments.  Remember The Way and the pilgrims path no matter where my feet are planted.


Monday, August 19, 2013


An unfamiliar noise in the night, an argument with a loved one, an assignment or task you know will be late, a storm on the horizon.... These, to me are manageable kinds of fears.  There is the element of the unknown creating the fear yet nothing so great that your breath remains shallow or chill-bumps don't fade.  This morning I wake; and it's day five of my dad hospitalized and what I knew from yesterday is that rather than improving, he was moved to ICU. I'm greater than one thousand miles away physically, I don't know how he is doing and this is a different kind of fear.

My "what ifs" this morning are profound and disturbing.  Do the ones in my life whom I love with a fierceness really know that?  Have I said it?  Have I shown it?  Am I a decent human being?  My reflection is as somber as the rain that falls as I write.  And my fear sits stoically with me asking not if I am loved enough, but have I loved enough.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Love Letter

Do you ever go to your mailbox, not thinking of a thing, and find a treasure?  A beautifully hand-addressed note card with the return address naming one you love dearly?  One which you set on the table, unopened, while you prepare a cup of coffee and patiently create a special moment in which to sit down, open, and extract said letter?

I got a love-letter today in my mailbox.  And I set it on the table, unopened, while I made myself a cup of coffee.  I sat down with said cup of coffee, carefully opened the envelope and began to read.  Handwritten and filled to the very edge were the thoughts of my beautiful daughter who lives thousands of miles away from me - but this afternoon she was right here with me, encouraging me as I prepare for my camino.  My eyes welled, and I blinked away tears hot and brimming with love every now and then so that I could continue reading to the end.  I found that I wanted to sit quietly with her thoughts and words long after I finished reading - that I might absorb each and every drop of what she shared with me.

She has done an expedition in the Talkeetna Mountains, she has taught English in a small village high in the mountains of Ecuador, she has traveled with backpack across Spain, and I am like an infant when it comes to what I am preparing to do.  Her encouragement means more than a million guide books - for the journey is inside more than outside.

She reminded me of something I wrote last year -

Step forward.
Happy for sunshine brightening my face

Security; your presence opens my heart.

And the island I have been
disintegrates with messy tears
and words
that I have held in.



Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Who is the problem?

The past several days I've found myself going back to a tiny little incident in which I was told a little white lie by a friend.  That's it.  We all tell those.  I happened to be aware of the tiny white lie because of my with-my-own-eyes saw that what I was told wasn't true.  Rather than discussing the fact that I've been guilty of this many times in many tiny ways; I just want to say that I was offended, my feelings got hurt, and I thought about trust and my own judgement about what kind of friends I choose to have.

Today the universe got involved with my emotional exploration and profound discovery that I, am, in fact, the problem.  These are the kinds of things I expected to think about on my long journey across Spain next year, but I am finding that the more I pay attention, the more the muses feed me.  I came across a blog this afternoon, and in my curiosity I explored it a little.  I read, "The Other Person Is Never The Problem."   Whoa.  It's not something I was entirely unaware of, but I obviously needed a refresher.  It's how I react that is the problem if I react in a poor-me or combative or correcting or offended or angry or disappointed or fill-the-blank-of -negativity..... kind of way.

What a tremendous reminder to read and think about the fact that the 'other' person is just as prone to be clumsy, self centered, and as unimaginative as I can be.  What a reminder to suspend judgement for a moment, and really care about the 'other' person's concerns, fears, joy, secrets, shame....and react with a little bit of compassion for whatever motivated their words or behavior.  I guess what happens if I don't examine it is that I have some sort of an idea of how the other person should be and that idea is in conflict with my reality because they are being the way they are being.  So, what's wrong is that I am not that person, therefore unable to change it, and completely responsible for my bad reaction if that happens.

Wow.  The journey is always unfolding, and I'll be checking myself a little more closely in the little white lie department, heh.