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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

I am sitting at my desk staring at my computer. I want to write a note to you that is cheerful and upbeat, and I am struggling to match that kind of letter with authenticity.

The truth is I have been feeling especially discouraged lately.

Here in the USA, we have just come through a grueling impeachment process to remove our president from office.  And on top of that, we are in the midst of a presidential election year… I find I am listening to candidates make their case for why we should vote for them while not feeling confident that either of the major political parties will endorse a candidate that speaks for me.

Then I read about world events, which included the coronavirus outbreak which is affecting thousands of people across the world… the fires in Australia that are affecting thousands more people and millions of wildlife… global warming and its effect on all life… the depth of pain and suffering across the world… and the first year anniversary of my dear friend Jenny’s death – which may seem very small by comparison and yet holds deep grief for me.

Some days I feel utterly weary and worn down…


Brrrrr. Are you feeling winter? I am. I just missed a week of work due to the flu, and I am still feeling a little punk. As I sit down to write this letter, I realize a lot of things that are important to me are taking the back burner. Things like working out, any number of tasks around the house, and my work “to-do” items. Instead, I work for a few hours and take a nap. Eat a meal, take a nap. Work for a few more hours. Take a nap…

It’s slow and steady and completely focused on my body’s need for healing.

In a way, I’ve enjoyed it. Not the flu symptoms, of course, but this opportunity to be so clearly tuned in to self and health. In this state, it’s pretty easy to decide what the priorities are because my body is so screaming for healing. For instance, I don’t feel only a little tired for nap: my eyes are struggling to stay open and sleep must happen… NOW.

It is also much easier for me to say no to someone when they ask me for something that stretches my willingness. Right now it is easier to prioritize, and easier to surrender to my inner call for health and wellbeing.

I would like to get better at living this way without having a health issue. How about you?

To me, that would look like:


Happy New Year!

January always brings me a sense of hope. It can be bitterly cold in some parts of the world, and yet even then the days begin to get longer and there’s a noticeable increase in sunlight for many of us. And that increased sunlight feels so nourishing on my face and body, like a soft touch from a dear and wholly predictable friend.

As we venture into 2020, I am reminded to come up to that light and imagine what I would like to do this coming year, instead of focusing on (or grumbling about) the dark and cold days…


For many of us in the world, autumn has arrived in its full beauty and darkness. The leaves turn magnificent colors and then fall, leaving a barren tree and a dark landscape. The days are shorter and colder. Warm sun is harder for some of us to find, and impossible for others.

I’m very connected to the changing seasons, and so I feel some of the beauty and darkness within my own internal landscape. It manifests as a great desire for more sleep… snuggling on the couch with my family… open days on my calendar with no appointments or expectations of myself… canning applesauce… and ample time to meander, change course, or take a nap.

For years, I called my autumn mood depression because I had much less desire for projecting outside my small circle and less patience for busyness. Now I call it …


Fall is right around the corner now, and I can feel summer starting to wind down. For me, this brings up a growing urge to jump back into life in a much more active way. It is subtle, but clearly growing.

Summer seems like a time of year that is more focused on family, quiet time, and tending to home business more than any other time of year. I experience it as almost like living in a bubble.

And, I love this summer bubble every year.


Lately, I’ve been ruminating on aging.

Eight months ago, I turned 60 and I’m still letting it in. Suddenly, retirement isn’t a lifetime away. Suddenly, I’m watching myself physically age faster than I’ve noticed or even fathomed before. Suddenly, I’m aware of the potential of having just a few decades left rather than what seemed like an endless length of time.

I don’t feel old… yet time seems more precious than it ever had before. My oldest and dearest friend died in March, so tending to my relationships has taken on a new, laser-sharp focus.

I’m increasingly aware that something inside me is shifting towards what’s most important, such as how and with whom I want to spend my time, and what my priorities are for the next 10 years. My definition of and experience of beauty and wisdom are also taking on new meaning. And self-care takes up more time and and has grown in importance in my physical and emotional life.

These aren’t bad things. They’re new things. I recently read a quote from Parker Palmer, one of my favorite authors, where he said, “I want to collaborate with aging.”


I love gardening… Do you?

My favorite part is in the spring when I get to pull out and clean up all of winter’s dead stalks and make way for the year’s new seedlings and young plants. And seeing the tiny heads of their new leaves poking through the once-frozen dirt – ahhhhh, there’s something so healing and nurturing about following this practice every spring.

My least favorite part is planning the garden, and as a result, I have relied on untrained instincts and luck, a plan which used to work pretty well until I moved to California. I was told anything could grow, but almost nothing I’ve planted has thrived. Hmmm.

Do you ever experience this in your life? A time when it seems that you’re bumbling along without much direction or clarity? Or when you seem to run into more roadblocks than open doors?


Ah, March…

When I lived in the mountains, March meant a slight lessening of the chill in the air. There was a lot of snow still, but it was wet and heavy and was often followed by a rain that would melt it quickly. And then, magically, I’d see a daffodil bloom poke its head out of the snow and feel gleeful. Spring is on the way! And it’s time to ready myself for it.

This morning I’m thinking about Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and feeling deeply grateful for my own emotional thawing that happened as a result of my NVC work.

I came to NVC angry and heavy with pent-up and unexpressed emotions. I didn’t understand the impact of all I had been holding onto until one moment in a workshop when I received full-on, connecting empathy for the first time. My emotions burst open and I felt completely free in a way I had never before experienced: the kind of freedom that happens when we are seen and understood – and there’s an allowing for all emotion. 


What’s the weather like where you are? It is pouring full-on outside my window and has been for two days. I’m bundled up in a long-sleeve t-shirt covered by a heavy plaid flannel shirt, heavy pants, and big fluffy socks… and I’m shivering as I type this.

I love weather like this! It calls me to hunker down, stay close to home, snuggle more, and tend to my inner, emotional weather. Hmmm. Giving myself a chance to check in with myself, I remember that – besides loving the rain – my heart is heavy with sadness.


Several years ago, at a time when I was feeling especially judgmental of my parents and how they raised me and my siblings, I was driving down the road ruminating on their lack of generosity.

Have you had times like this? Times when you found yourself running the same stories through your head, and they all have the same ending: the ending that makes the other person — or yourself — stay in your bad graces?

So on this particular day, I was ruminating on my parents’ lack of generosity while driving down the road and heading to a cabin by the ocean, near where I was raised in Washington State (one of my favorite places in the world), when it occurred to me: