Light a candle…

Zaimu Challenge

Today I lit a candle and jotted my thoughts as I set my intentions for the weeks ahead. It’s a new moon, which means it’s a perfect time for a new start.

As I reviewed my words and phrases, I noticed creativity appeared more than once on my list. It’s been a major theme of mine this year, and it make sense it’s time to refresh my focus. The past couple of weeks I’ve had to turn my attention to less than creative projects that take up a lot of mental energy. Today I finished the heavy lifting on much of that, and I felt free!


I love it when I see evidence of my internal state in the external world, and this popped up just now:

Phyinomenal screenshot

I’m excited to turn my attention back to creative pursuits – everything from cooking, writing and seduction, to even rebuilding my connection to español.

It’s a new moon. What’s your new start?

Beauty treatment

Personal Narrative

Take time to stop and smell the roses.

It’s an old sentiment, but one I’m thinking about as I fly home. I’m above the clouds now, and over my shoulder I spy the warming tones of the setting sun.

The sight made me want for Florida at first. But on second thought, what I’m missing is beauty. Winter’s cloudy, chilly mornings have kept me indoors on days I’d rather run.

Running outdoors is my meditation. My journal. It’s high fives to the rabbits who line the greenway, and smiles to the rising sun. It’s awe with flowers blooming in spring, leaves turning in autumn. It’s deep breaths in time with my feet – percussion behind a chorus of birds.

It’s been a while.

Sometimes my entire work day is spent in the bowels of a school. Cinder blocks obstruct the sun and the evergreens right along with cell service. “I’m in a bunker today,” I tell Blue.

The moments left before sunset are spent navigating Atlanta’s traffic. If you wait too late to hit 400 from 285, you might as well stay put another hour or two.

Despite an uncooperative schedule, it’s easy enough to experience beauty.

Seek and ye shall find.

On Living, or Dying, with Anger

Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building

It is dangerous to hold fast to anger toward another.

Perhaps even poisonous.

One may look around one day, only to find herself rotting, dying a slow death from the inside. And yet, aware as I am of this simple point, I catch myself, arms wrapped ‘round my body, one crossed over another, refusing to release it. It’s almost comforting, this anger. Terrifying to think of letting it go, and Goddess forbid, opening my heart again. Where would I be without this cloak ‘round me? Without this veil enclosing my heart? One shudders to think of it. And yet one shudders a great deal more to ponder the alternative.

Praying to expel this poison. Move past the betrayal. Get on with life and the living. Anger, held too long and too deeply, is for the dead.

On the Timeliness of Untimely Calls

Personal Narrative

I was minding my own business. I had just pulled into the parking lot of a local pharmacy, where I aimed to return an overpriced item. My phone rang and an unknown Atlanta number flashed on the display. I’m not great about answering unknown numbers but 1) I have a new phone and all of my contacts didn’t transfer, and 2) I’m in the middle of job hunting and apartment hunting. Those things being the case, I picked up not knowing who may have been on the line.

A woman responded to my hello and stammered an introduction: “Um. Hi, my name is Sharon. I’m not sure if I’m calling the right place, or if you even have anything to do with it…so this may sound strange…but I used to work for…” She went on to explain who she was and how she knew my dad. She was a receptionist where he worked over 25 years ago. It was her first job out of college. He left a mark. She wanted to say thank you and see how he was.

She told me stumbled across a website about me while searching for his name. She offered me congratulations on finishing my doctorate and said she noticed a comment that seemed to imply my parents were deceased. I confirmed the sad news which prompted a series of sorries from her.

It is not unusual for people to contact me wondering how one or the other of my parents are, and it usually doesn’t effect me all that much. My mom passed away in 2003 and my dad in 2006. But today’s call struck me. I was nearly undone in the parking lot, suddenly missing my dad. I’ve never made it a secret of being a daddy’s girl and I was actually surprised I wasn’t more tearful about him or mom during my graduation festivities. But here I was, totally missing him, choking out thank you, but simultaneously present enough to wonder what he wanted me to know.

As random as this call seemed, I was suddenly sure it was very purposeful guidance. I’ve been sleepwalking the past couple of months. I just finished a 3+ year stint in graduate school with non-stop days (weeks? months?) of writing and thinking. I put myself on a vacation from “real life” while I transition from student to – whatever role I play now. I’ve been hibernating and whiling away my days, and my journaling and reiki practices have suffered. I’m no longer a leader in my Buddhist organization (due to moving around, not to lack of desire) and my practice has been a bit on the unfocused side. All of the things that help provide clarity and meaning in my life have been fading and blurring in the background. I’ve been on autopilot. Note: Autopilot isn’t a helpful setting if you’re trying to reinvent yourself and become clearer on your purpose and next steps.

And so here comes this call. While Sharon was talking, I scrounged up a piece of mail and a sharpie. I jotted what she said was most important to her and still rang true these decades later. She explained that my daddy was always calm and full of wisdom he was happy to share, he encouraged sensible solutions to problems, and told her (especially as a young person full of energy but no direction) to plan every step.

That definitely sounds like my dad. He was always quiet, steady, persistent, focused and driven. (And extremely silly too, just to be clear). I definitely believe this call was to nudge me back on track as 2010 comes to an end and the new decade begins. I take it as a reminder to both seek out and share wisdom, to take more responsibility in envisioning, planning and co-creating my future, yet to be patient as things unfold.

Here’s to the journey. Thanks Daddy! Happy new year!


On Being a Vessel

Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building

I was sleeping. I normally don’t dream or at least don’t usually have memories of dreams. This night was no different. It was maybe a year or so after my mother died. In any event, I was sleeping. Soundly. Suddenly, I woke up with this idea. It wasn’t an idea I wanted to have. It wasn’t an idea I had been mulling or chewing on. It was an idea that showed up, fully formed, in my consciousness. It demanded I wake up and write it down.

Efforts to ignore it and go back to sleep were wholly ineffective. It came with its own adrenaline rush and there was no pushing it off for the sake of shut eye. So there I was, in my office, trying to capture this idea that didn’t come from me, but was certainly coming through me. I remember feeling desperate to get it all down. And when it was all typed out, I felt as if I had just given birth. Having never actually birthed a human, I can’t be sure, but that’s about the closest I can get to describing it.

I knew at that moment I did not have the resources to make this idea a reality (yet). I thought then that it was at least 5 or 10 years in the making. I went on with life, not giving much thought to the idea.

This was around 2004 or 2005.

Since then, every two or three years, the idea gently resurfaces, as if to remind me it still exists. But earlier this year when it resurfaced, it was LOUD and demanding! Some aspects of it had changed, and it wanted me to know. I’m talking about it as though it has a life of its own. It does.

I felt scared because it seemed as if the time was getting closer to bring it from the world of the formlessness into the world of form, but I’m. Not. Ready. At least so I feel. Felt. Feel? I don’t know. It felt urgent. Like hurry up! Interestingly, there are still many pieces I don’t possess. But recently I realized that’s okay. Since I need help, I’ve now asked for it. I’m praying to meet a mentor who can help me. And I know that if I am truly a vessel for this, as it seems I may be, the path will be illuminated if I will just start walking.