love rules

I usually have two books going at once, one fiction and one non-fiction. Yesterday, I was scanning my bookshelf in the family room looking for something motivational/comforting/self-helpish and I spotted What Happy People Know by Dan Baker, Ph.D. I read it a few years ago, but apparently I’ve forgotten “what happy people know” because I’ve been feeling pretty blue lately. After rereading it I decided to play along with the Teaser Tuesdays Blog meme at MizB’s Should Be Reading blog. I randomly opened the book to page 94 and picked out this quote to share. “From that day on, I realized that there was something happy people know that unhappy people don’t: No matter what happens in life, there’s always something left to love, and the love that remains is always stronger than anything that goes against it.”

I like that, the idea that love rules, that the capacity of our hearts to appreciate and love unconditionally can overcome the craziness in our minds. Craziness that is almost always motivated by fear. Fear that we aren’t good enough, we aren’t loveable, fear of loss, fear that things won’t get better, fear that we are helpless to “fix” the broken pieces of our life. I think we all have to dig deep sometimes to find the courage to quiet that fear-based voice with a conscious prayer that begins and ends in gratefulness and love. My take away after reading Dr. Baker’s book again is simply this: Life is a dance and we all might be a little happier if we remember to lead with love, not fear.

soul quiz

You Are a Dreaming Soul

Your vivid emotions and imagination takes you away from this world so much so that you tend to live in your head most of the time. You have great dreams and ambitions that could be the envy of all…but for you, following through with your dreams is a bit difficult.

You are charming, endearing, and people tend to love you. Forgiving and tolerant, you see the world through rose colored glasses. Underneath it all, you have a ton of passion that you hide from others. Always hopeful, you tend to expect positive outcomes in your life.

Souls you are most compatible with: Newborn Soul, Prophet Soul, and Traveler Soul

What kind of soul are you? Take the Quiz here…

naked words

I finished reading Mark Matousek’s book, When You’re Falling Dive last night. The author takes a look at how disaster transforms people by interviewing and seeking advice from many different people who have been touched with adversity. One chapter, entitled “Nakedness” begins with this passage: We must accept heartbreak to be fully human. We cannot love without tasting some blood, nor connect without braving some chink in our armor. Those who are most spiritually naked, most transparent, are also those who see most fully. “Let the scar of the heart be seen,” said the prophet Mohammad. “For by their scars are known the men who are in the way of Love.”

I like that term, spiritually naked. I think that’s how it is when you become a parent, the love you feel for your baby is so raw you have no choice but to become spiritually naked. Many new parents are surprised by the force of that love, the uncontrollable fierceness of it. They are both surprised and frightened by it because with it comes the possibility of such profound heartbreak. We love and we lose. Someone I know who is grieving a relationship said that she had wasted the past ten years with her lover because they broke up. Do you think that’s true? Can love be wasted?

Anyhoo, the book was a good read if you’re feeling introspective (as I seem to be lately). Check it out next time you’re at the bookstore. The photo is of my niece Ayrielle, I just want to pinch those chubby little cheeks every time I see her:)



I gave a dear friend of mine my audio copy of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle this morning (and I promptly ordered myself another one!). What if someone told you that you are not the voice inside your head? You know, that incessant voice that says you’re not good enough, thin enough, smart enough, rich enough, healthy enough, pretty enough, the voice that tells you that you need to go there, do that, be this….well, you get the picture. What if you could step outside your mind and watch that voice, that manic (exhausting) egoic part of yourself? Observe it as it bounces from one anxiety and fear and problem to another, what would happen? I’ll tell you what will happen, you will take away it’s power and you will come to understand that you don’t need to deal with that lousy past that you are dragging around behind you and you don’t have to anticipate every possible future conversation and scenario that may, or may not occur. Look around you. Can you deal with right now? As you sit there reading this blog, can you handle this moment?

The Power of Now will help you shed that annoying little voice and be fully present in your life. I listen to the book often, it’s a meditation for me, a gift I give myself when that voice takes over and I begin to lose myself in all the noise. I hope my friend finds some peace (and quiet) in Eckhart Tolle‘s wise words.

good news

We are so connected in this modern life of 24 hour cable news programs, cell phones, and the Internet that we can sometimes be overwhelmed by information burnout. And while I think it’s important to be an informed citizen, the negative angle local and national news media outlets serve up just plain gets me down sometimes. I want to know what is happening in the world and in my own community, but I don’t want to just hear what all the screwed up “bad” people are doing. I also (and more so!) want to be inspired and motivated by the goodness in the world, by stories of everyday people who are making the world a better place, not a scarier place. I want balance and apparently I’m not alone in my hunger for positive news. I’ve linked three websites that I sometimes browse that focus on good news stories. Daryn Kagan started her website after working for CNN because she wanted to, Show the World What is Possible! one story at a time. Good News Broadcast has a mission to Find, receive, create and broadcast to the world, life-affirming, thought-provoking, educational news, entertainment and events. On the Good News Network “about us page” they write, Local TV news, especially, has been continually feeding us junk food. We need to be informed by a world view that is not dripping with sensationalism and attuned to the police scanner.

So if the news is getting you down check out those websites, or better yet, go outside for a walk and take a closer look at the world right outside your door. Be grateful for the goodness in your own life, whether it’s a flower still blooming in the chilled November air (like the mum I photographed on my front porch this morning), or simply the fact that you have a safe, warm place to call home.

Whatever we focus on is bound to expand. Where we see the negative, we call forth more negative. And where we see the positive, we call forth more positive. -Marianne Williamson