Soulful Plastic Surgery

Last week, I enjoyed hiking in one of the most amazing places on earth with a dear friend. As we walked and talked, our feet trampled through paths of dirt and mud, puddles and sand, rocks and brush. Our conversation carried themes of hope and despair, lack and encouragement, fear and faith.

In the midst of these words, the topic of happiness (or at least contentedness) with ourselves surfaced. We discussed how, even when we approach a dead body at a viewing or wake, the comments we hear discuss the appearance of the individual (“Doesn’t she look good?” or “He looks so natural.”) more than the work of their lives.

We walked on, and this thought came: “We might be better off to perform plastic surgery on our spirits.”

Of course, that type of change could never occur under a trained physician’s hand holding a scalpel or with the careful eye of an anesthesiologist. Our spirits need to be fed, nourished, strengthened, and loved–and we do that work ourselves.

We begin again to love ourselves, to disconnect from harmful media while connecting to grounding influences such as art, music, and nature. We exercise, balance our chakras, and breathe. We speak loving words to ourselves and others. We spend our moments with those who nourish us and those we nourish in return.

I’ve been blessed to do a number of those things this past week, and my spirit feels new. I’m not crumbling under the heavy weight of others’ (or my own) unrealistic expectations. My spirit is transformed, and I have more to give.

And, I dare say that I feel more beautiful–without a tuck, gummy bear implants, or anesthesia (which scares me, FYI). I am a happier me, and I like who I am.

My spirit is new. And I am still me–only better.

I’m on top of the world.

IMG_2413.JPG
🙂

Let the Sunshine In

I spent the last several days surrounded by creativity, youth, and laughter. As much as I hesitated last Friday to embark on a journey way-out-of-my-usual-comfort-zone, I was rewarded beyond belief with gifts of friendship, intellectually stimulating conversation, and connection, accompanied by roller coaster rides and memories of a seemingly distant past brought close again.

Today, I smiled through the usual rush of the morning, helping everyone else on their ways for the day, and then opened the blinds in our family room as preparation for some yoga. I was struck by the beauty of the leaves filling in the space between branches of backyard trees, the fresh smell of rain from last night’s thunderstorm, the understated majesty of lilacs (who once bloomed last in the dooryard). Though the reality of the day is overshadowed by clouds, I am living in a place of gratitude, a place of light.

I am ready for the blessings and challenges today will bring.

My heart is open to let the sunshine in…and let it illuminate–no matter the weather.

🙂

Gratitude for Nature

I had to restrain myself from posting this right away last night after I watched it. I was quite moved.


As we continue to think about giving thanks this month, I hope this short TED talk from Louie Schwartzberg will give you a few moments to reflect and ponder.

I recall an amazing experience this summer when my husband and I were in St. Lucia as part of a family trip. While there, we went snorkeling at two different reefs, and I felt amazed by the beauty and majesty of creation. I continue to be grateful for those moments while, surrounded by myriad creatures such as brilliantly colored fish and squid, I felt the blessing of being a part of God’s creation. I knew that He created this amazing earth for us–His children–and I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

When have you been captivated by nature or overwhelmed by the blessings of creation?

The Sun Always Shines

The other day, I was visiting a friend’s home. She gave me a spectacular haircut (which feels lighter and lovlier than I have felt in ages)…and afterwards, we chatted outside amidst clouds and sunshine, with an occasional clap of thunder pounding its way through the heavens like my living room sounds during a Wii bowling marathon.

I wondered to myself about the possibility of a storm, what said storm might mean for the rest of my day (I had some plans to go swimming), and how said storm might affect my afternoon–with kiddos coming home from various places via foot or bus or whatever else.

Then, I came home, popped leftover curry and rice into the microwave (thankfully we still had some naan left, too), and enjoyed a quiet late lunch. After savoring the fruits of last night’s cooking experience, I walked to the sink to rinse my (almost-wiped-clean-anyway) plate, and the sun was almost blinding through the window.

As I felt the warmth and heat and light cover my skin with a powerful stillness, I knew that everything was going to be okay…kiddos, afternoon plans, homework and happy moments.

I thought of the desperate times–times of darkness or despair in my life. I remember those moments which brought about needed changes or powerful character-building experiences. I thought about living in places of snow, where storms and clouds would roll in for so long we thought they had overtaken the sun forever. And, I recalled feelings of being alone in the universe or sad beyond the reach of comfort or troubled without direction. Each time I lived through those moments or days or months or years, if I could make myself hang on to hope, have faith that triumph would overtake the sadness, and wait patiently for the light to pierce the clouds, I have been able to work through the despair. I have emerged a stronger person. Each time hasn’t been easy–in fact, I felt stretched to my inner core on each occasion–but light has brought me to where I am today.

And that is a pretty awesome place.

🙂


photo credit:  Sarah Knight Photography

And Now My Heart Is Full…

With my apologies to Morrissey…and to you for being absent for all of June….  You see, I’ve been a little busy…travelling here:

hanging out at the beach here:

and watching the boats move in and out over here:

While I was gone, it wasn’t all leisure time.  We did some push-ups (after lots of stair-climbing, I might add) on an old fort here:

and we also did some snorkeling and swimming after we took a few pics here:

Our site seeing included a visit to a (freezing cold) waterfall here:

and more views of the cool fort:

We saved some time to get dressed up for dinner:

enjoy the night lights on the water:

check out the cool cloud formations:

and chill by the pool:

All in all, my time was very productive.  Though I still have a busy rest of my summer to come, I did want to touch base to say that I’ve enjoyed so much being out in the creations of the earth and getting showered by a little love and sunshine (which was long overdue).  I’ll get back to regular writing and blogging soon enough…but, until then, I’m busy with packing for various destinations, working through summer reading lists, and enjoying my time with my family.  We even made some loaves of bread today!

Sending you love & hugs & the happiest of summer wishes (and safe travels, wherever your road may take you).

🙂

It’s a poem-y kind of day…

She built a glass house,
Pane by pane,
Glazing each one, then wiping it clean.

Sometimes, when the lawn service came, the decapitated grass blades would pile around the base of the glass
And she would painstakingly, on hands and knees, pull each slice of green away from the foundation.

Eventually she built a garden around the edge.

She used to tell all her neighbors that she loved the roof the best,
How the light would come in during the day,
How the stars and moon would shine their brightness through a sea of black,
How she could hear the rain with new ears.

When the birds would fly overhead (especially during geese migration), she needed
Help to clean the top of the house, so she would enlist the
Assistance of neighbors, friends, and even sometimes professional window-washers to
Clean the panes.

I asked her once how she could live with so much
Transparency.


photo credit

A Haiku

So, this week must be the week of poetry! 🙂 One of my little people had a poetry notebook (for homework this week) in which said little person was required to write two acrostic, two cinquain, and two haiku poems.  As I was trying to explain what a haiku was, I wrote the following:

Slithery snake is
Sunning on the windowsill
Black scales shine in light

I’m not usually big into much more than free verse, but occasionally something works.  I liked this one.  🙂