On Clearing Space and Creating Victory

Spirituality, Temple Building, Text Talk, Women's Health
Over on PhYINomenal, Sojo's self care focus for November is Elimination – time to release, remove, denounce, deny and let go. It's a great time to release that which no longer serves you and invite in affirming energy, new processes, and transformative experiences. If you've never checked out her site, today's a great day to do it. Get the self care calendar for November and see what simple things you can do to release the deadweight and bring new life. Over the years I've found myself in that place many times. One time in particular, I was stuck, stagnant and depleted. I needed something, anything, that could help me recharge my life and get inspired again. I finally realized that I didn't need to look outside myself for the answers. With…
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#Sub60 10k: 18 of 61 – Stepmoms Run

Personal Narrative, Running Buddha, Sub 60 10k
[caption id="attachment_3641" align="alignleft" width="225"] Blue & Lil Blue post 5k[/caption] Thursday morning, I ran with the youngest. He's 11 and likes a good adventure as much as the next kid. After a strong finish during a recent 5k race, he agreed with his father and I that running would be good summertime pursuit. He's athletic, with a determined heart, and was undaunted by my description of Thursday's running plan. Eleven (almost 12) is that interesting age where some are still open to public kisses from parents, but are pretty sure they've got this thing (life) all figured out. Or at least they want you to think so. As a veteran classroom  teacher turned new stepmom, it's an interesting tug-of-war watching this play out, even as you know what's going on. I know how kids…
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Another beautiful day

Spirituality
[caption id="attachment_3636" align="alignleft" width="210"] North Georgia cotton candy sunrise.[/caption] The skies of north Georgia are beautiful. I admit this freely now. I often stop to photograph daybreak and dawn, sunset, dusk and twilight. As a Georgia native, there were many things I enjoyed outdoors growing up, but I can't recall appreciating the sky on the fringes of day. Florida was a different story. I lived there off and on for many years, and 2009 is the first time I recall pausing at the sight of the setting sun. Driving across a bridge, I witnessed the huge orb sinking below the horizon. Once bright blue sky, now dotted with clouds and awash in orange and purple and pink, I wanted to pull over in awe. Instead I offered prayers of appreciation. I couldn't believe my good fortune to…
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Stream of Consciousness: Planting

Feminist Thought, Spirituality
A bitter heart is fertile ground for the dream of revenge. It can extend beyond heart and mind, into body, into world. Enact the vengeance, and the recipient may agree, yes, this is justice. Or she may not. Her family may agree, or they may not. Her friends may agree, or not. What if? The wronged heart, too, grows bitter then. Poison cultivates a new dream of revenge. Imagination and courage dance, a perverse action. Then. Pain inflicted on another. What if... Newly wounded burn with anger, rot with pain, and poison the ground for a dream. And so it is, the potential in actions born of bitterness. With life comes pain. But in pain, do you seek restoration or destruction? But what of a family, community, or nation? What is in the heart…
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Artists for Peace

Zaimu Challenge
I think a lot about art for peace and scholarship for peace, and what it might mean to design a sustainable future. Lately it's been a mostly private investigation, but I may explore these ideas more publicly in the coming weeks. Today I want to share a quote from an open letter by world renown artists, fellow Buddhists, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. The letter is meant to inspire and provoke artists, but the encouragement is food for thought for us all. They share 10 points, ending with the hope that we live in a state of constant wonder. They begin with this: FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITY We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the…
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Goodbye 40. Hello 41.

Personal Narrative
On Mother’s Day I cried. I felt anxious most of the day. Irritable. Off-kilter. But I wasn’t sure why. Late afternoon I sat with Blue and he held my hands until I could say. I truly didn’t know until the words flew out: “I'm not a mother.” I buried my face, hiding tears. It felt strange to say. And really it was more that I felt in between. Displaced? Out of place? I dunno. I was coming to love his children, but who was I, really? Despite the growing relationship we all shared, there was no neat space for me. Not stepmom. Not stepmom-to-be. But there they were. And here I was. A lovely conundrum in the grand scheme of things, but one that confused my heart. Normally, I don’t look…
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Who presents this bride?

Personal Narrative
Today makes eight. For years I went to bed early. As an elementary school teacher, I had an extensive morning routine involving exercise, prayer, and a 30-minute commute. I arrived at work by 7 a.m. – well before the kiddos who often wanted to share household news as soon as they said good morning.
Because I require 7-8 hours of sleep to function well, I observed a strict bedtime of 9 p.m. My friends knew this and generally avoided calling past 8 or 8:30. From time to time an acquaintance would call too late, so I turned off my ringer at night just to play it safe. That is, until Daddy admitted his health was fading. It was shortly after Mama died. His prostate cancer wasn't a secret, yet he seemed to be…
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Sunshine, fog and love

Personal Narrative
I'm still waiting for the latest to sink in. Awareness comes in flashes, but it hasn't quite settled in. Maybe in a month? A season? I dunno. But seven days hasn't been enough. A week ago today Blue and I were married! I told him every day of our honeymoon it feels so surreal. I'm a wife now. And a stepmom. Wow. Perhaps I'll spend a few posts digging into these as I try these labels and responsibilities on for size. The ceremony was short, sweet and intimate, and remains quite hazy in my memory. I was in a fog most of the proceedings, despite the clear, sunshiny day. Dina, our photographer, offered suggestions for poses and she had to repeat them all. I could hear her, but somehow she was talking to… someone else. I didn't feel nervous…
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Where does the time go?

Personal Narrative
Today is connection day! That's what I'm calling it this year, as Blue and I mark our second anniversary. On this day two years ago, we acknowledged our mutual interest in getting to know each other better. We had been acquaintances on social media for a couple of years by then, with no more than a handful of tweets and a couple of happy birthday FaceBook statuses between us. During those couple of years we'd both experienced our share of dramatic life changes. But even now, neither of us can pinpoint the reason or timing of the shift from "that guy/woman I never met in person although we have 50 mutual FB friends," to, "that guy/woman I might need to pay more attention to." Yet one day out of the blue, a tentative message turned into the beginning…
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