pure emptiness

Atlanta Aquariaum - Jellyfish 2.jpg

pure emptiness

flexible and flowing
freely moving
melting and merging
immersing in the infinite
integrated energy
existing in pure emptiness

I wrote this poem about being at my center, present and fully awake to experience life, moment by moment, letting it unfold. For me it describes a kind of inner peace, where I have no burdens, where I feel free and at one with life. What does pure emptiness mean to you?


* I took this photo inside the Atlanta Aquarium. So beautiful, these two creatures swimming together in a graceful flow. (I try not to get my head too much in the game – I wouldn’t want to run into these guys in the ocean!)



i don’t know

Doolin Ireland - 3 Surprised Sheep.JPG

I don’t know.

Given the fact that there is more that I don’t (than do) know, why is it so challenging to embrace these 3 little words?

Maybe because, from the time we are wee little things and on through school and work, we are rewarded knowing stuff, for getting things right, having answers? Maybe because when we know, we feel safe and in control?

I’m finding, though, there’s a power in accepting that I don’t know. In a way, it is freeing. With a little curiosity, not knowing can be an adventure, and even fun.

How do you feel about not knowing?


* My husband and I surprised these 3 sheep when we showed up on the road next to their field, which was situated on the coast in Doolin, Ireland. (It was sunset and I also caught this sweet swallow resting on a fence along the road.)


inside each of us

Florence Italy Chalk art.jpg

Maybe the desire to make something beautiful is the piece of God that is inside each of us.

Mary Oliver, Franz Marc’s Blue Horses


I first read this on Mindfulbalance and it brought me joy, joy that I hope I might pass along…

What will you make that is beautiful today? Maybe start with a smile?


*  I took this photo on the main square in Florence, Piazza San Giovanni.

to try softer

Sicily Ortygia on Piazza Duomo

You have come so far.

It is now time to try softer.

It is now time to be willing to let all the power and energies of the universe work for you.

It is time for you to open…to be willing…to allow those energies to carry you to your next step.

It is time for joy.


This is from time for joy: daily affirmations  by Ruth Fishel. It really resonated with me. I love the phrase “to try softer”. I love the idea that life can be easy, inspiring, filled with love and JOY. I love the invitation here to open, to allow life to come. Instead of pushing and pulling and making life take the shape my mind creates, I can receive what the world brings to me.


* I took this photo in Ortygia (Syracusa), Sicily, Italy on Piazza Duomo.

where the journey leads


where the journey leads

a fine yellow powder
moves silently as dust
reaching from plants
overflowing with life
fearless and free
dancing with the wind
to blades of grass
flowers in the garden
water resting in the birdbath
where the bees and birds wear it
to places of new possibility
the filmy elixir knows not
where the journey leads
yet opens itself to what might be

For the past several weekends – it’s spring in Iowa! – I’ve been sweeping a coating of yellow dust from our back deck and front porch. The purpose of this magic powder inspired my poem. As I sat staring into the line of spruces in my back yard, the idea for the poem began to take shape, and then the words flowed to my journal. After a little massaging, the work felt complete.

When you look around, what inspires and amazes you?


* I took this photo of buds on the spruce tree in my front yard. Much of the pollen in our yard comes from the dozen spruce trees that line our property. I was amazed at the beautiful red color – in 18 years, I’d never noticed the cones move through an early phase of being this this lovely color.




Discomfort arises
and a wound opens.

The habit:
hold the disturbance tightly,
bury it deep inside
where it seems to disappear.

The invitation:
simply watch the distress,
with curiosity and care,
allowing the disquieting energy
to move through.

Freedom waits
on the other side
of pain released.


This poem was inspired by reading the untethered soul: the journey beyond yourself by Michael A. Singer. Many of the concepts in the book align with leadership concepts I’ve been living into since going through Radical Leadership almost 15 years ago. I sense  truth in what I am reading.

I am reminded that I am not my thoughts; I am the one who sees the flow of thoughts. Those thoughts are simply energy. I do not have to engage with the thoughts. I can simply let their energy move through me.

Of course, it takes practice to learn to let go of thoughts as they come. I’ve built a lifetime of habitual thoughts and there’s a part of me that gets caught up in drama – sometimes my thoughts are running me instead of the other way around. The delicious part of experimenting with letting thoughts move through is starting to notice the thoughts and energy arising.


* This selected this photo of chives blooming in my backyard because there is something open and free about their wild and delicate nature.

fall into the darkness


Fall into the Darkness

Fall into the darkness
Curl into the quiet
Nestle in until the stillness comes
Rest in the rhythm of your breath
Allow the morning light to seep into your being
Awaken to the mysterious flow of life


This poem came as an invitation: stop resisting, and open.

By falling into my dark spaces of fear or negativity, really letting them in, even momentarily, I am released from struggle. To courageously stop fighting and allow myself to be vulnerable is like moving through an invisible doorway from one room to another. The new room is filled with energy that carries me where I want to go.

This falling in and resting until stillness comes – it can take a second, or it can take days, or months. Whether it’s a little stressor or a bigger life obstacle, there is something powerful in detaching, not judging, allowing, and opening. It’s like clearing debris so that life’s energy can move through me again.


* I took this photo at sunrise on the beach at San Agustinillo, Mexico.

burden melt away

Sunset on Lake Maggiore Locarno Switzerland 2

Burden Melt Away

One day an invitation comes:
set your burden down.
For just this moment
loosen your grip.
Feel the tension melt away.
As the weight is released,
rest in the available space.
Experience the freedom
that begins to open before you.


Do you ever have days where a tension you’ve been experiencing suddenly loosens, or where something that was bothering you just isn’t on your radar anymore? At times I’ll notice the change without having a clear sense of the point when the shift actually happened.

Sometimes, though, something just keeps holding on, and eventually I tire of carrying the fear or worry around. In those cases, I actively engage in shifting my energy to get closer to where I would like to be. This poem is the advice that came to me one day when I was ready to let go.


* I took this photo at sunset in Locarno, Switzerland on Lake Maggiore.

anything life happens to bring


The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.
Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything
life happens to bring his way.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, 59, translated Stephen Mitchell


When I read this poem for the first time on Karl Duffy’s Mindfulbalance blog, it spoke to me.  I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year wondering “what’s next” and thinking I needed to have some grand plan or clear map. Oh, the stories that were playing in my mind about what life is supposed to be like and how I am supposed to be engaging with it! What I am finding is that if I am present for the life that shows up in front of me, the path naturally unfolds and I move in directions far more magical than I could have imagined.


* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico at sunset.

slowing down

Mexico Jan19 1 (3)


Slowing down.
I see with clarity.

Slowing down.
I hear what people are saying.

Slowing down.
I feel the energy around me.

Slowing down.
I speak in the direction of truth.

Slowing down.
I find power within me.

Slowing down.
I breathe into the world.

And, I awaken.


This poem was published in my first poetry book Mostly My Heart Sings. Since connecting last week with my beautiful friend Jana, I’ve been thinking a lot about going slower. When we were together we talked about how much richer our experience is when we go slow enough to be fully present for it.


* I took this photo in Mazunte, Mexico. This beautiful flower grew from the top of a small tree near a bus stop on the main road. I loved the way it was awakening to the light of a beautiful sunny day.