Archive for the ‘Tenderness’ Category

I haven’t posted in months…a long time has passed and life has been full of interesting moments and lovely healing. I don’t know where to begin…

I’ve discovered that healing can take many forms, even though at first we don’t see it coming. You know, one of those moments that doesn’t look like it could be healing what-so-ever and we didn’t see coming. I recently discovered a side of my mother I never knew existed, a side of her that I had dreamed of meeting. I met the soft, cute, sweet side of my mom…perhaps the person she was as a young girl. I had always wondered what she might have been like.

My mom had a stroke a few months ago and I spent time helping her and my dad through the first couple months of her recovery. I spent a lot of time in the rehab center/nursing home, giving my father someone to lean on and help out, and my mom an active advocate. Every time my father and I had to make a choice regarding her care, I would ask, “if I were the one in that bed, what would my mom do?” The answer was always there.

I got to meet some amazing people in the nursing home, both patients and staff. I watched the nurses and CNA’s work crazy, long hours doing their best to help each and every patient with dignity and very little thanks from anyone.  I saw nurses who showed great love and caring, who felt the patients were theirs alone to care for. And I fell in love with the patients…a hug and a smile go a long way here. I’ll be visiting this winter when I go home for Christmas, for sure.

Part of me wants to send my Mom a thank you note thanking her for a delightful summer of growth. If it hadn’t been for my mom’s stroke, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend most of the summer with she and my dad. I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to reconnect with friends who are dear to my heart and spend precious time with my sisters as we gave each other much needed emotional support. And I definitely wouldn’t have had an opportunity to laugh until I cried with my mom, read her funny stories and help her relearn the things we all take for granted.

I never knew a stroke could offer such healing and blessings. Thanks Mom!

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Okay, I know that sounds weird but hear me out…Happy to Eat

I got a great compliment the other day from Antonette, the founder of So Others May Eat. She told me the Grandmas like having me shoot pictures of them. They have finally accepted me.

You see, some cultures believe that if a photo is taken of them, their soul has been stolen. Millions of people around the world believe this, and some of the Grandmas and grandpas believe it. To you and I, that sounds like crazy talk. But to some of the older Grandmas it’s very real. There have been times when people have taken pictures and some of them have died shortly thereafter.

I’ve been taking pictures of them for the last 4 years and have fallen in love. We joke around, laugh and just generally have fun. If they notice I’m pointing my camera and don’t want their pictured taken, they either cover their face or turn around. I respect their wishes and move away.

Some of my friends like having their picture taken and will even ask me to shoot them. I do like that. I never know who will ask and sometimes I’m surprised. They are so beautiful in their innocence and joy, their love and reverence.

I’ve been lucky…no one died. Which means, I’m not a soul stealer.

To learn more about this worthwhile program or to add your support for the Grandma’s and Grandpa’s of San Miguel de Allende go to http://www.soothersmayeatmexico.org/

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New Year’s resolutions are always fraught with peril. We say we want to change something in our life… perhaps exercise more, eat less, or spend less… and we slowly lose interest. A few weeks later we’re back to the same old patterns. And with that comes defeat… we don’t accomplish what we set out to do. No thanks, I’m not interested!

So this year, I decided to do something a little different. I wanted to come up with something that I could actually stick to, something that would help me be more aware of what I needed and wanted for myself. I’ve decided that my resolution is going to be to practice self-care in all it’s forms. To be aware of creating self-care for myself. Okay, I know it sounds hokey but, if I can’t figure out what I need in the care and maintenance of me, then act on it, who will?

So, I’m contemplating what self-care actually means. And I’m noticing, it gives me lots of room to maneuver, lots of areas where I can make things better for myself. Let’s just say, it’s making me more aware of what I haven’t been doing to support myself and how I can do it better. This ultimately shows me I care about who I am and what I want to be in the world.

So what does self-care look like? Well, how about taking a soak in a hot tub of water with a good book, maybe feeding myself something truly delicious that nurtures my body, taking a walk in the park, or even picking up my camera or paint brush and letting creativity flow? Those all, while being very different, fit the bill perfectly. See how easy that is? It isn’t so bad.

I don’t have to worry too much about not fulfilling my resolution. I just have to be conscious that I’m actually doing it and not forgetting myself in the care and maintenance of others. To be aware of all the ways I see what I need and fulfill that for myself. Self-care… that’s the ticket!

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Love is…

the joy of laughing with my husband.
Tender moments spent being present with each other
Spooning on cold nights into the morning
Loving.

Love is…
knowing my family loves me even though we don’t always agree
Hearing my mother call me “Sugar foot”
Walking the family farm with my Dad
Spending time with my sisters

Love is…
the camaraderie I feel with my friends no matter how close or far apart we live
Sharing joys, hurts, and a shoulder when needed
And laughing… oh the laughter especially!

Love is…
Loosing myself in my photography, painting, making stuff or just being
Allowing creativity to flow, whether I like what I’m doing or not
(it always comes out in the end)
Expressing myself

Love is being myself and loving who I am even though it’s not always easy.

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Sliding sensually
Snowy sheets
Soft, supple, silky
Scintillatingly seductive

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Solstice

The text below was sent to me earlier in the week by my friend Lea and it was sent to her by another friend. I felt it was moving and wanted to share it with you. Thank you Lea, for sending this.

When the true light appears,
The entire planet turns to face it.

The summer solstice is the time of greatest light.  It is a day of enormous power.  The whole planet is turned fully to the brilliance of the sun.

This great culmination is not static or permanent.  Indeed, solstice as a time of culmination is only a barely perceptible point.  The sun appears to stand still.  Its diurnal motion seems to nearly cease.  Yesterday, it was still reaching this point tomorrow, it will begin a new phase of its cycle.

Those who follow Tao celebrate this day to remind themselves of the cycles of existence.  They remember that all cycles have a left and a right, an up side and a down side, a zenith and a nadir.  Today, day far surpasses night, and yet night will gradually begin to reassert itself.  All of life is cycles.  All of life is balance.

So celebrate, but be not proud.  For whenever you celebrate high achievement, the antithesis is also approaching.  Likewise, in misfortune, be not sad.  For whenever you mourn in grief, the antithesis is also approaching.  Those who know how to reach the peak of any cycle and remain glorious are the wisest of all.

Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao

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