Instant Ghost

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Have you decided what you are going to be for Halloween yet?  I am going as a ghost.  And I love love love the ghost cape that Martha Stewart designed… but I don’t love the price.  $149.99????   For a bunch of tulle fabric that you tie around your neck?  I don’t get it.

In case there are any folks out there who haven’t figured out what you are going to be this year, I thought I’d share with you a little tutorial on the ghost cape that I made… for $8.  Yep, eight bucks.

All you need is several yards of tulle… doesn’t really matter how much, you can cut and layer as many pieces as you like… and a yard of ribbon.   I think I used 7 yards here… cost me $8… I used 4 yards of white and 3 yards of silver/grey.  I just cut them unevenly in half, and laid one on top the other… making sure one edge lines up on all layers.  The other three layers look better if they don’t line up, and hang unevenly.  Simple.  Better yet, you can hack into the edges of the layers and make them look ragged and ghostie.  Just line up your tulle so that one of the edges is even… that will be the edge we sew the ribbon on to.

Put your ribbon along the edge of the tulle… we are going to attach the middle third of the ribbon onto the cape.  Just take the middle third (about a foot long or so) of the ribbon, and fold the tulle back once or twice to wrap around the ribbon.  Sew it on with your sewing machine, or by hand.  I went ahead and sewed both edges… go for it.  Or you can just put one wide zigzag stich down the middle.


Um… really… that’s it.  Whip that bad boy around your neck and you are all set.  Layers and layers of floaty tulle… costume completed in about 5 minutes.

Cut tulle, line up one edge, sew on a ribbon in the middle (leaving both ends of the ribbon hanging free) and then tie it on!    Accessorise by throwing on a white outfit under the cape, white face paint and white hairspray, if you’ve got it.  On the actual night of Halloween, I’m going to load up on the black eyeliner as well, and I have some spider tattoos that I’m going to have crawling all over my face.  I found this great white dress at our local thrift shop for $12, so my costume costs about $20 total.  Now with the other $120 I just saved, I’m going to by myself lots and lots of Halloween candy!  Yippee!  xoxo

Thoughts On Health… Death and Dying… revisited.

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First, let me say that I really miss the health collage series.  I have a collage of the thyroid to share with you, but my (step) grandfather died last week and I have decided to push back the thyroid collage until next Monday.  This past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about death and dying, and watching my loved ones grieve.

I think I’ve been extremely lucky to have two fabulous role models in my family for death and dying… both my grandmother Grams and my grandfather Cass transitioned quite quickly once death became inevitable.  I really admire them for the long lives that they lead, and equally admire them for the selfless release that they showed when their times of death were near.  Both went through a period of intense illness that lasted only two weeks before they detached from their earth bodies and returned to a state of pure soul.  I feel very blessed to have their examples in my family.

I very strongly believe that one does not necessarily need to enter into a state of illness or disease in order to die.  Most people do… and many have quite a prolonged state of disease prior to death.  That both my grandparents were able to release their earthly hold so shortly after becoming terminal is inspirational to me.

The next best thing, would be to not ever need to enter into a terminal disease state.  I love Abraham-Hicks quote saying something along the lines of… “Esther’s plan is simple… healthy, happy, healthy, happy, healthy, happy, dead.”  That is ideal and certainly something I’m intending for myself as well.  But how do I go about doing this, besides allowing for the possibility in my mind?

I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I’ve come up with this… I believe one thing that would help is to release any and all fear associated with death.  Because fear keeps us intimately connected to something we *don’t want* a relationship with.  So to release fear of death would be to release my worries about negative circumstances surrounding death.  Or at least it’s a start.

Now, death is such an overwhelming concept, I doubt that all mystery and fear can ever be resolved… that is, in fact, the human condition.  To be aware of ones mortality.  But I have been able to free myself from many of my fears regarding death… I blog a bit about that here.

One thought that keeps coming back to me over this last week, is that it seems like death is the last frontier, that last unknown.

But when I sit with this feeling long enough… my soul, in fact, really doesn’t agree.  If I sit long enough with it to allow my deeper truth to emerge, my soul reminds me (with a strong feeling in my heart area) that in fact *everything* is the unknown.  Death being not that much different from life.  Most of life is unknown as well… truly.  My own body, this computer I’m typing on, the molecules that make up this chair, the sound waves that are reaching my ear as my finger do the tapping on the keys, the miracle of birth and rebirth that I’ve experienced with my own children… even love itself (why does my husband love me so?  How is it that I love him more now after 12 years then I ever have?  What is this whole *love* stuff… it’s too good to be true and yet there it stands.)

All is a mystery.

And I appreciate that… I’ve blogged before (here) about how being open to mystery is probably the closest I ever come to feeling calm and spiritually grounded.
But the second part of that, is that death isn’t *really* the big mystery that we think it is.  At least that is my feeling about it.  Not only do I truly believe we’ve all been there and done that before (reincarnation, which I wrote a poem about here) but I feel that every minute we are alive we are surviving mini-deaths, and that we are all down right pros at the whole death experience.

What do I mean by that?  Well, I’ll do my best to explain.  With a lot of help from Thich Nhat Hanh… who originated most of these ideas and examples that I am about to go into.  I love his book, No Death, No Fear and recommend it if you want to read more about these ideas.

Well, I think it boils down to this:  we’ve all mastered the death experience, because we live it every day.

Nothing stays alive more then in this one present moment.

Everything in your memory is passed away… everything in the future is your imagination… even the present moment is a continuously changing and dynamic thing.

Just as a candle appears to be burning continuously down, one flame melting away the entire candlestick… this is in fact just an illusion.

Each moment of the flame is simple a combustible reaction… using a different oxygen molecule, burning a different part of the candle wick, producing a different flame.  Flame after flame after flame.  That is what a burning candle is.  One spark of energy burns and is released and expands outward with light and heat… the next bit of candle wick and the next oxygen molecule react with this spark and produce the next bit of flame… onwards and downwards, melting a different exposed surface of the candle.

What appears as one flame burning is actually millions of different flames reacting all the way down the candlestick.

This is our life.  This flame is us as well.   Birth and rebirth, moment by moment.

We appear to have one long continuous life, day after day… but if you line up all the pictures taken of you over your lifetime, you are a different person in each picture.

Baby pictures, toddler pictures, childhood pictures, teen pictures, young adult pictures, adult pictures, middle aged pictures, elderly pictures… get them out and line them all up.  Physically see this transition, which has all felt so continuous, and you will see that just as the flame is not one moving object, but rather a cycle of life and death… so are we.

The cells that made up the body of a baby are not the same cells functioning in the child.

The cells of the skin, the cells of the gut, the cells of the hair, the cells of the muscle, the entire blood stream… all have had their own lifespans and been shed… replaced by new cells with new lifespans… and replaced again.

Over and over, without our knowing or needing to manage it.

The hair of the teenager, is not the same hair as the adult.  Long since cut and regrown… the body is ever evolving.

Ever emerging.

Ever dying.

Not just our bodies, but our thoughts, our breath, the foods we eat and even our spirituality… all are different and feed us in different ways at different times in our lives.

Why do we experience this lifetime as continuous?  The soul.

The soul is the wick of the candle in our lives.

The wick of the candle keep the chain reaction of the flame going continuously down the candle, and helps the flame appear as one flame.  Our souls keep the chain reaction of our lifetime going continuously through our experience, and helps the body appear as one body.

From our souls perspective, it *feels* like one lifetime.  The death of our cells, the death and replacement of our body parts, doesn’t phase our soul one bit.  Our souls do not grieve for our lost cells.  It embraces the newly emerging cells, the ones that support our health and our current condition and our current desires.

Leaving the dead cells behind, our souls experience the joy of emerging.

So it is with death, I believe.

The soul feels unchanged, undiminished, with the turnover of the body.

The death of cells has no impact on the perception of continuous *being* that we feel.

If the death of cells has no impact on our experience of *being*… how would the death of our organism be any different.  The death of our organism is simply a collective death of our cells.  No more, no less.  You have already survived the deaths of billions of your cells.  Your soul, your being, is untouched and unaffected by these cellular deaths.

With the death of our cells, our soul simply focuses on the joy of emerging.

So, we are already pros at this death thing, with nothing more to fear.

I can always align with my soul in the *now*.  If we align with our soul in the now… we feel joy.  If we align with the nostalgia of the dead cells of our past, or feel anxious with the unknown of the emergence yet to come… we can feel fear or sorrow.

In the now, my soul sings.

Is your soul singing the joy of the millions of cells that are healthy and functioning for you right now?  Right now, you have hundreds or perhaps thousands of cells that are dying.  You have thousands more that are emerging.  Your soul is the one thing that keeps your experience constant.  It’s not your body you rely on.  It’s your soul.

So.  Can you sing the song of a healthy body, untouchable soul, even as many cells are dying.  Even as many cells are dead right now in this very moment, and are waiting to be removed.  Even as many cells are forming but not yet formed.  Yes, you can.  You have been doing this all your life.  If you’ve ever felt one speck of joy, one speck of happiness and one speck of health, you’ve done it despite the fact that you had cells dying all over your body.  Death and joy do not preclude each other.  The death of the body, or parts of the body, do not affect the eternal and continuous experience of the soul.   At least, that has been my experience.

The vast majority of your cells are supporting your life, in the NOW.  Are you aligned with that?  Do you feel your health?  Do you feel your moment?

This is our moment… a sustainable soul experience, with no fear of the future.

You have never been the same person twice… your baby self, your toddler self, your child self, your teenage self… these have all died already.  And congratulations!  You did great!  Truly, you did.  I did.  We all did.

So we are pros at this death thing, you and I.

I hope those thoughts made sense… I’ve got a flurry of ideas running around in my mind, some easier to put into words then others.  This was one of my more difficult feelings to try to articulate.  If you don’t quite get my words but you are intrigued enough to ponder it more, I do suggest Thich Nhat Hanh’s book… he says it so much more clearly then I!

Come back next week for another Thought on Health… our Thyroids.  And coming soon soon soon, a special announcement for my Thoughts on Health series!  I’m very excited to share it with you… stay tuned.  xoxo

Why I wrote my first children’s book ever.

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Why did I even do this?  Here’s why…

What Jake means to me.

I wrote this book to say one thing:  happiness can meet you anywhere.  I really want kids to know that.  I want grown ups to know that.  I want myself to remember that.  I want a book that I can pick up to remind me.  You can invite happiness in to meet you right where you stand.  Nothing needs to change at all.  Joy can flow to you whether you live in a cage, in prison, in a diseased body, or are living your very last breath.  The universe is so expansive, it can reach anywhere.  It can follow you into any dark corner.  It can follow you down every twisty turning maze path, even ones that are dead ends.  It can follow you and support you and welcome you as you pass from life into afterlife.  Happiness can always meet you where you are.  You simple invite it in by gratitude.

You might not always *want* to feel happy, and that is totally valid too.  I know that I’d rather feel a genuine sorrow or fear or stress any day over a false sense of needing to always align with joy.  I don’t always choose joy.  But I *do* always know it is there for me, always waiting, always ready to scoop me up and take me on a ride out of whatever lonely place I’ve been.  I like remembering that.

So back to Jake.  He is a sweet little guinea pig living in a cage.  How might that feel, to look out over the entire yard and woods beyond every single day, and not be able to get there.  To feel like you have no say in the direction your life is headed.  Well one day, Jake gets a chance to leave his cage.  And he takes it!

He has a great day, but by night, he starts remembering all the things he loves about his cage… all the things that felt so boring to him before, became something he actively wants to return to.

Jake’s cage symbolizes how our we can feel trapped in a cage too.  We can feel trapped by a disease, trapped by a situation, trapped by lack of money, trapped by a job we don’t want to do.  Anyone can live in a cage.  You can live in a gorgeous home, but if you hate cleaning it, or hate the people who live in it with you, it’s a cage.  If you hate your life, you take your cage every where you go.  If you go on a vacation, you may be distracted temporarily, but eventually, you realize you have taken your cage with you.  If you feel trapped in a marriage and leave and remarry, you may have taken your cage with you.  If you re-create experiences… illnesses, symptoms, dead end jobs, unsupportive relationships, you are trapped in a cage that is re-creating it’s bars around you.

This cage is your mind.  Our minds can trap us by the thoughts we think.

Our thoughts can create a prison any where we go.  A movable prison, that you can’t out run, can’t dig out from under, can’t break through.  Everywhere you go, your mind goes too.  If you are alive, your mind is with you.  If you are breathing, your mind surrounds you.

I have a very active mind.  I think and think and think… I enjoy thinking, I hate thinking, I think of new ideas and create new images and possibilities and worlds in my mind all the time.  I think when I lay in bed at night.  I think when I wake up.  I think when I am washing the dishes, when I am in the shower, when I am typing these words.  I have a love hate relationship with my active mind… it used to torture me with worry and what-ifs and existential questions… but at the same time it used to thrill me with new ideas for paintings, new poems I had to write, helped me dance easily through college and medical school with absolutely no studying, no effort… I just woke up each day and went off and running, doing anything and everything under the sun.

Exciting but exhausting.  And never any deep comfort, no sustainable sense of purpose.  No meaning behind it all.  No sense of fulfillment.  Just the next thing and the next.

My mental diarrhea went with me no matter where I lived and no matter what I did.  It just kept on running.

Until one day, with the birth of my children, my perspective changed.  I became less consumed with needing to do and was finally able to pause and just be.  For once, I fell so completely in love and so overwhelmingly satisfied, holding my precious child in my arms, that my brain fell silent.  And I stayed in that moment.  And then my brain picked itself up, dusted itself off, and was up and running again in no time.  Trying to convince me to speed through life again, trying to distract me from the *being* with lots of *doing.*  But this time, my perspective had changed.  And I wasn’t so easily fooled.  My mind could no longer trick me and steal my time.  It couldn’t trap me so easily.  I had found evidence of the eternal… the love I felt for my children reminded me instantly of the *great love* that exists in the nature of our souls.  Once awakened, I couldn’t go numb from my mind chatter any longer.  I was free.

It has been almost a decade now and I just keep feeling more free and more free.

Every single day life reveals to me that the eternal is all around, that to be alive is to be blessed, that just by breathing I am living in a sanctuary.  That every moment is a blessing.  That I don’t have to *do* anything.  Being present and aware has opened my eyes to the blessing of life and the joy of interconnecting with other souls along the way.

With a new emphasis on being thankful where I stand… not where I am going, but where I am RIGHT NOW, my mind feels free and open to possibility.

So this book is a story about a guinea pig who decides he has had enough of feeling imprisoned by his cage.  It is a story for young and old.  It is my story… it is my story about how I have closed the prison of my mind and turned my life into my own personal sanctuary.  The birth of my children help me lift the cage that my brain created when I would worry…. usually about what happens before and after life in a body ends.

I think sometimes our bodies and minds can feel like cages to our souls.  But even though I am still living within this body cage, my soul still sings the song of expansion.  Living within the parameters of a body, my soul aligns with eternal freedom.

How?  The same way Jake finds freedom.  By focusing on what I am grateful for (my children) and remaining open to possibility.  That’s it!  I live in my body, which is simply a cage for my soul, and yet my body is now my paradise.  I choose to live in this body… I am grateful for it.  Jake lives in his cage, chooses to live in his cage… and yet his cage is his sanctuary too.

Jake decides to go back to living life in his cage… but by focusing on gratitude for what he has within the walls of that cage, happiness moves right on in.  All the things he thought he had wanted from the outside world become possible right in his very own home.  Foods, friends, fun… all of it is possible, right where he stands.  He doesn’t need to know how to do anything, doesn’t need to think or plan or leave… he needs to stand in appreciation of what he has and joyfully anticipate what he wants.  The rest flows right to him, right into his cage, riding in on a wave of his happiness and joy.

This is a story of how to do it.  How to find joy in standing in your cage.  How to relax into the art of allowing.  How to not let circumstances dictate to you how you can feel.  No parameter can encage you except your own mind.  Your soul feels freedom and expansion no matter what external parameter your body is experiencing.  Your soul sings it’s song of joy and feels best when it remembers and vibrates in that frequency.  If your mind has pinched your soul off from resonating with joy, as my mind did for so long, then you are suffering.  And your mind has formed a prison around you.  I speak from experience.  If you can find a note of joy, something to focus on from within your cage that brings you the feeling of gratitude or even simple relief, then joy will begin to flow to you and meet you right where you are.  Right in your cage, on your knees, on your deathbed, in your prison, there is no where that well being can not meet you.

Because I feel so much healthier free from my mental prison, I enjoy raising my children this way as well.  No parameters, no imprisonment, no external pressures to do anything other then reach for joy.  Reaching for joy first, everything else falls into place.  The learning, the growing, the wonderment, the living.  Joy first.  That’s what I strive to teach my children, if there was any lesson I could teach.

The reality is, that this is the lesson they have brought to me.  First, by their very existence.  Being born, they brought me instant freedom, the freedom to fall in love without end.  The freedom to fall into soul love.  The freedom to remove the parameters of life, no beginning, no end.  The freedom to *feel* soul energy and believe in the interconnectedness of all.   xoxo

Whew!  Did you make it all the way through my longest post ever?  That’s the most I’ve typed in since I started this blog over 7 months ago.  Thank you so much for being along to share the journey with me.  If you are still awake, and not sleeping like poor exhausted Jake below, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!  Are you happy, right where you are standing?  And now I’m off to go lay down for a nap!  I’ll be happy, right where I’m… ahem… laying.  xoxo

My Favorite Thing… In My Bathroom

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This is over three years old now, and it’s still my favorite thing.  Now, the lighting is bad in my bathroom, so I didn’t go crazy with taking too many pics.  And to be honest, I’m too tired to clean up the bathroom sink that it is hanging next too, so it’s fine with me that the artificial lighting isn’t great any way.

But do you see this masterpiece?  It was made for me by my adorable husband and precious children, right after we moved into our home.  I didn’t have anything to hang my jewelry on, and I wanted something home made for Mother’s Day.  My husband took the kids out into our yard, and had them each pick a fallen stick off the ground, hammered nails along the length of each… and then set the kids up with paint and let them paint the sticks.

Bless his heart for that, because if you know my husband out of the office, you will know he isn’t the most handy guy with tools.  He is brilliant, smart, generous, kind, and open minded… but he ain’t great with a hammer.  So that makes this all the more precious to me.  Because I can just imagine him now, with a handful of nails, hunched over a stick that probably kept rolling away from him, trying to hit a nail into a narrow twig, not wider then a half inch.  If that isn’t love, I don’t know what love is.

I will never, ever, ever replace this.  It will literally have to compost right on my wall.

The kids were only 4 and 6 when they made this for me and gave it to me for Mother’s Day.  Now 7 and 9, they seem like entirely different creatures from the ones who ran paint along these sticks for me.  The love is the same, but the expression is different.  Now they can write my name, make me a card, buy me a gift.  But back then… before reading and writing and cards and gifts… there were sticks and paint and ribbon.

And I love that more and more each day.

You all can easily make this for yourself, too!  Just two sticks, some nails, wire (that I wrapped around the ends of the two sticks to have one stick hang off the other one) and a ribbon (you could skip the ribbon and just perch the branch right on the wall on two nails) and you have and organic, rustic holder that keeps your necklaces, bracelets, and eyewear off your sink ledge.

I’m just throwing that out there, because with Xmas growing ever near, it makes a great gift.  I should know, I got this one as a gift from the heart and I wouldn’t sell it for the world.  xoxo

Thoughts on Health… why I’d take friendship over medical advice any day!

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I was at the beach with two friends of mine, enjoying the late summer sun and playing in the waves with the kids.  Unfortunately, I was also battling some horrible neck tenderness and muscle pain… I blog about that here.  On this day in particular, the base of my skull hurt so badly I was having trouble just sitting up straight, talking, carrying on a normal conversation.  Certainly wearing my hair back off my face in the sticky salty ocean breeze was unthinkable, the pain was too severe.

My two friends were so amazingly kind and generous… with their empathy and their advice.  It was so nice to be able to talk openly about what this pain might represent for me (what burdens am I holding instead of releasing), and get some wonderful new suggestions for pain relief.  Both friends openly shared what has worked for them in dealing with back and neck issues, both offered insight, and both offered things I had never thought of before… new stretches, massage techniques, and topical rubs that I hadn’t ever used.

All in all, I left the beach that day with hope.

And hope, my friends, is worth more then all the medical opinions in the world.


One of my friends, Joy (whose name is so perfect for her I can’t even tell you!  She is a ray of crystal clear positive light) gave me at least three or four new ideas, not to mention some genuine comfort.  It was very helpful to me.

Then she said something to the effect of, “Oh, I keep forgetting you are a doctor… I don’t mean to give you advice.”  It was so sweet, and yet completely surprised me.  She had just given me such great advice… it was exactly what I needed.  I told her that me being a physician doesn’t mean I know everything about healing, and that I really appreciate the advice.

But that doesn’t totally convey what I meant.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then.

I think that being a physician means that you have studied and know a lot about the anatomy of the body, and the physiology of organ systems.  But just because we might know a lot of facts, I don’t think that makes us anymore knowledgeable about *healing*.  I think physicians are great to go to for more information about what is happening *anatomically* with a symptom.  Physicians do know a lot of highly specialized information, and it absolutely is important.  I think they are an amazing, even life-saving, resource.  I think they can be so amazingly helpful if you want to know what, physically, is going on.

But, I don’t think physicians necessarily know more than anyone else about *healing*.  In fact, sometimes their *interpretation* of healing is not particularly helpful.  The minute they start trying to interject opinions, educated as they may be, it is not a fact *for you*.  The only thing that is a fact for you is what you vibrate for yourself.  So if a physician tells you a statistic or an outcome… it isn’t fact.

This is a pet peeve of mine, because I feel that physicians crush hope every day… well intentioned as they may be… when they give out survival percentages, or possible outcomes, or an antibiotic prescription, without talking about the emotional aspect of healing.  I blog a little more about this here.

The other friend, that was there that day, is Aleka.  I’ve already introduced her on my blog, when she wrote two amazing guest blog posts here and here.  Since that time, she has started up her own blog, and I highly recommend taking a look at it.  It is chock full of food for thought, and I learn something with every single blog post she releases.

We were talking about what is *fact*.  How what is true for one person is not necessarily true for another.  We were talking about how we can share our deepest truth, our soul advice, with others, while not mixing in our own errant truths.  She said something that I will always carry with me… she said she asks herself, before advising clients, “Is what I am going to share helpful?”  In other words, it might be *true*, but is it helpful?  Will it be helpful in healing?  I told you she was a genius!

I love this advice.  Especially for physicians.  Because damn, I can tell you we are stuffed to the brim all through medical school and residency with facts, figure, statistics, possible treatment plans, possible medications, surgeries, other physician referrals, etc… But… is it helpful?  Is it helpful to tell a patient a survival rate?  Is it even *true* for them?  Even if only 1 person in 100 statistically survives a dis-ease… is it helpful to say there is only a 1% survival rate?  For the 99 people who pass away from this dis-ease, was it helpful to them to say that there was a 99% chance that they’d die?  No.

For the one person who survived the disease, was it helpful to tell them that 99 other people would have died in their shoes?  No.  Because for that one person, there was a 100% survival rate.  They 100% survived.

But will they ever be able to believe that?  Believe it in their heart and soul?  Or will some small part of them always think that they might not be in that 1% survival bracket.  Won’t some part of them always be expecting the dis-ease to return, to kill them?  So was it true that they were one of the 99 people who were predicted to die?  No.  Did it support their health or healing at all to know that?  NO.

When it comes to actual health and healing, we are all in this together.  Even the physicians.  Even the specialists.  Even the surgeons.  We are all in this figuring out what each organ system represents, why some cells and systems evolve dis-ease, and how we can encourage health instead.  I’m in it with you all too.  Because we can advise each other all we want, but at the end of the day, we each attract our own health.  I feel that I have an intuitive understanding of disease… but that doesn’t instantly take away my severe neck pain, does it?  No.  I still have the same obstacles of life and the same energy fields to cleans and release as we all do.

So, knowing I was going to wake up in pain and head out the door that day… would I rather go to the beach and commune with friends, or going to a physician’s office for an X Ray and a prescription?  I’d choose the beach any day of the week, and I’m so glad I did.  Friendship, over medical advice… yep, that feels right to me.  Thank you so much to my very sweet and very inspiring friends!  xoxoxo

PS — I finally figured out that there is one way I can wear my hair off my face and not get an instant tension headache.  I’m telling you this because maybe it will help someone else who has the same problem I do.  Can’t wear a bun, can’t wear a pony tail, can’t wear barrettes, can’t wear a headband… what can I do?  A braid.  If I make one big french braid going down the back of my head, it holds all my hair off my face… but doesn’t pull at all, because the band that secures it is way at the very bottom of my hair, not anywhere near my scalp.
Why did that take me so many decades to figure out?!?!?

So if you see a woman with tangled brown hair pulled back in a french braid and with two gorgeous kids, stop and say hi to me 🙂  I’d love to have a chat.  xoxo

What I Have In Common With A Cockatiel (hint… we both have a favorite girl, and she turns 9 today!)

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See this guy?  He is our Cockatiel, Cupcake. We love him so much.  And he loves us too… but Clara in particular.

One thing I love most about cockatiels, is that they bond for life.  Just one life partner that they stay with through thick and thin.

If the bond is broken, their heart breaks too.

Cupcake has bonded for life with my Clara.  She is the only one in the world for him… he is utterly and completely in love with her.

I can understand why.  Clara is the most magical human being I have ever met.  In my eyes, she is the definition of spirit and soul.  I see her and I see her soul, they are always hand in hand and visible.  To look at her *is* to see her soul.  Always.

She is raw and precious and gentle and passionate and careful and hilarious and giving and tender.  And, today, she turns 9.

These pictures were taken from breakfast last week… she put her bird out with a little bit of millet spray on the breakfast table next to her.  That’s exactly the kind of thoughtful thing she is always doing for the pets and people that she cares about.

I love these pictures because I think my daughter looks like an angel… can you see her glowing in the light, edges blurred… no discrete line where her body stops and the light begins?

This is how I see her every time I lay eyes on her.  Soul shining.

And from behind this camera, I am looking at Cupcake and thinking what a lucky bird he is… to be bonded for life to my Clara.

She is the most trustworthy gentle care giver, I have no doubt that she will take care of Cupcake and tend to his every need for his entire life, start to end.

(Once, when she was only 5 years old, she held her favorite guinea pig while he died… for well over an hour, she just held him to her chest, gently but firmly, loving him even though he was leaving and tears were rolling down her face.

Holding him and telling him it was okay, to relax and let go.  I tell you, I’ve never seen such quiet beauty, grace, and strength in my life as I saw my little 5 year old girl give that day.)

Cupcake is one lucky boy indeed!

And that’s what I have in common with Cupcake too… because I know that I’ve bonded for life with my daughter.  And I am super grateful for it.

She will always be my baby girl, even though she has just turned 9 in the blink of an eye.  I am bonded to you for life, Clara.  I feel that I exist to be your Mommy.

Happy Birthday, my love.  Now let’s go do whatever you like today!  So far, the plan is hiking around a southern plantation (Magnolia Plantation, for those of you who live here) and lots of fresh air.   A magical September 24th to you all!  xoxo

Music and Our Souls

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I was having a great conversation with my children over the weekend, and I had a wonderful thought.  Okay, it might be a bit of a stretch, but I love the feeling I get when I think about it.  And usually, if it makes me feel good, I can trust it.  So, I think there may be some truth to this idea.

We were talking about how amazing and wonderful music is.  And how much it lifts us throughout our day… singing a song while we wash our hands, humming a tune while we take a walk around the block, listening to our favorite CD’s to break up a long drive.

It’s such a miracle to me, that someone was able to capture music and put it on a CD, for us to replay.  I don’t have the foggiest idea how this happens.  How something as expansive and vibrational as music can be imprinted on a tangible object like a CD.  To me, music is energy… a vibrational wave in the air that we interpret through our eardrums.  Sound waves fill our universe, weaving their way through the atmosphere and into our minds, where the energy soothes us, revives us, lifts us, or calms us.  How can this be captured on a flat surface?  How can this be imprinted, in all it’s complexity, on a tangible object that I can toss into my CD player?

I know there is an answer, a science behind it, but that’s not where the magic lays for me.  The magic is in this analogy:  I had a sudden inspiration that our souls are like music, and our bodies are the CD.  Our souls are these expansive, never ending, limitless, unfathomable, amazing energy forms that we can’t see, filling the air and our earth and the heavens.  Our souls are pure music, and have the ability to uplift our bodies, creating life out of a tangible solid object.

Our cells, our organs, even our minds cease to function unless the energy of our living soul is imprinted on the body.  Somehow, the vastness and limitlessness of our soul is imprinted into our body, our cells… breathing life into our very form.  How does this happen?  How can the soul be captured, maintained, living, functioning within our physical bodies?  It is unbelievably amazing to me.

And when we die, I like to think it is just like the playing of a CD… the music is released, filling the air with our energy, our soul.  If my body is imprinted with my soul, at the moment of my death the music plays, the fullness of my soul’s song can be released… music fills the air and expands to fill the limitless space.  My soul lifts off my physical form, filling the air and releasing me back to the fullness of myself in vibrational form.


How are our souls imprinted on our bodies?  What makes them stay there?  What makes them release?  What does the music of my soul sound like?  What music will I hear as I return completely to my pure positive energy form?  I don’t know.  I spend my days pausing, “being”, taking a moment to listen to my heartsong.  And to witness my children’s heartsong.

In the moments of being… I can sometimes here my soul’s song.  That’s when I need to paint, or write a poem, or even blog.  Those moments remind me that what I really am, more then being Laura-in-a-body, is music in physical form.  A CD, I guess… that’s what we are.  Waiting for our souls to sing again.  I imagine the death-release to be quite magical, really.  And that’s an analogy I like.  xoxo