Friday, September 4, 2009

Enjoy Being

The rain still smelled of ozone, its fresh scent arriving just in time for my hurried drive up North. I turn on to the freeway, the on ramp already black-wet, my wipers rushing as fast as they can back and forth, back and forth. ‘We’re trying, we’re trying’, they seem to be saying. But they aren’t good enough. Nothing is.

Where did all the traffic come from? Why can’t they get out of my way? Isn’t anyone going to let me in? What is wrong with people? Where did all the nice ones go? My face furrows. My body tenses. My mood turns thoroughly irritated.

Damn. I hate being behind cars bigger than mine. But I need to get over. That one, the one I have to get behind, he will probably be WAY too slow, too. All hippies are. And surely a hippie is driving. It’s a VW bus after all.

Then, there it is. Right there on the VW bus in front of me.

Enjoy Being.

And just like that, a simple script-written bumper sticker pierces me through the heart. Wake up. Enjoy being. Traffic? Costing you joy? What? I stare, shocked. What was I doing? I shake my head as if to shuffle it all away.

I roll my window down. Rain mixed with wind massages my face and shoulders, even my lap gets drizzled with the juice. My cheeks turn pink. I can feel the cold air on my teeth. Because I’m smiling. I want to thank the driver. He saved me from an ugly day. I put on my blinker and someone slows to let me in. I wave my arm out the window. I see a lone weed on the side of the road. It’s flowering. And beautiful. ‘I almost missed you,’ I sing out to it. I’m coming up next to the VW driver. He, too, has his window down. He is smiling. Enormously. His hair is completely soaked. He turns to me as I near. We smile at each other.

I want to tell him what he did for me. But I see he already knows. He looks at me with a knowing, a deep heart-centered knowing. Your heart is driving you, too?, his smile says to mine.

Are those tears on my cheeks or is it rain juice, showering my day with joy?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Don't forget to dance today!

The world can be as intimate and spirited as we want it to be!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

UNC study: To build resilience, don't worry, see happy

Researcher says focus on small moments

CHAPEL HILL - People who seed their life with frequent moments of positive emotions increase their resilience against challenges, according to a new study by a UNC psychologist and colleagues.

The study, "Happiness Unpacked: Positive Emotions Increase Life Satisfaction by Building Resilience," appears in the June issue of the bimonthly journal Emotion.

"This study shows that if happiness is something you want out of life, then focusing daily on the small moments and cultivating positive emotions is the way to go," said Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences and the principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory. "Those small moments let positive emotions blossom, and that helps us become more open. That openness then helps us build resources that can help us rebound better from adversity and stress, ward off depression and continue to grow."

In the month long study, 86 participants were asked to submit daily "emotion reports," rather than answering general questions like, "Over the last few months, how much joy did you feel?"

"Getting those daily reports helped us gather more accurate recollections of feelings and allowed us to capture emotional ups and downs," said Fredrickson, a leading expert in the field of positive psychology.

Building up a daily diet of positive emotions does not require banishing negative emotions, she said.

The study helps show that to be happy, people do not need to adopt a "Pollyannaish" approach and deny the upsetting aspects of life.

"The levels of positive emotions that produced good benefits weren't extreme. Participants with average and stable levels of positive emotions still showed growth in resilience even when their days included negative emotions."

Friday, July 31, 2009

What is the Greatest Gift?

What is the greatest gift?
Could it be the world itself—the oceans, the meadowlark,
the patience of the trees in the wind?
Could it be love, with its sweet clamor of passion?

Something else—something else entirely holds me in thrall.
That you have a life that I wonder about
more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a life—courteous and intelligent—that
I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.
That you have a soul—your own, no one else's—that
I wonder about more than I wonder about my own.
So that I find my soul clapping its hands for yours more than my own.

Mary Oliver, from Red Bird: Poems
published by Beacon Press

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lost love letter reunites couple after 16 years

Lost love letter reunites couple after 16 yearsAFP/File – A couple embrace at sunset in Peru. A British man and his Spanish former sweetheart have finally married …

LONDON (AFP) – A British man and his Spanish former sweetheart have finally married 16 years after they drifted apart, reunited by a love letter lost behind a fireplace for over a decade, reports said on Monday.

Steve Smith and Carmen Ruiz-Perez, both now 42, fell in love 17 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student in Brixham, southwest England, and got engaged after only a year together.

But their relationship ended after she moved France to run a shop in Paris.

A few years later, in a bid to rekindle their love, Smith sent a letter to her mother's home in Spain. It was placed on the mantelpiece, but slipped down behind the fireplace and was lost for over a decade.

The missing missive was only found when builders removed the fireplace during renovation work.

"When I got the letter I didn't phone Steve right away because I was so nervous," Ruiz-Perez told the Herald Express local newspaper.

"I nearly didn't phone him at all. I kept picking up the phone then putting it down again.

"But I knew I had to make the call."

When they were reunited, it was as if time had stood still, said Smith, a factory supervisor.

"When we met again it was like a film. We ran across the airport into each other's arms. We met up and fell in love all over again. Within 30 seconds of setting eyes on each other we were kissing.

"I'm just glad the letter did eventually end up where it was supposed to be," he said, after the couple married last Friday.

Saturday, July 4, 2009



Sayulita, Fall 2009

Rediscover the Passionate Life

BODY … Come, indulge your senses. Let your body luxuriate in the gentle caress of the sea. Feel the warmth of the sun melt your rough edges away. Surrender to the loving hands of your heart-centered masseuse, your soul-centered healer, your wellness-centered acupuncturist. Let us help you reawaken your body to its natural state of sensory bliss.

MIND … Come, quiet your mind. Invite your heart to take the reins. Let your fears subside, your desires reemerge,,your needs finally be heard. Let us help you see the illuminated path before your eyes, the one pregnant with nothing but your heart’s desire.

HEART … Come, honor your heart. Give yourself the gift of creative time, leisure time, time to realize your secret dreams and passions. Erase all have-to’s and requirements. Immerse yourself in raw, beautiful, genuine contentment. And emerge more heart-centered than ever before.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Giggles from my kid-heart to yours

Our childhood giggles are only as far away as we let them be!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Do you see Magic?

I do!
(all photos courtesy of generous artists on the web...please let me know if you want to know where/who and if anyone is unhappy with them here, please let me know!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Open Discussion

If you had to choose, 
would you say it is 
your head
or your heart
 that motivates your days?
 If you answered 
'my head',
 what would make it easier for
 you to really follow
 your heart? 

I am very interested in your comments...please...please...please...share anything and everything!! Don't even feel obliged to leave your name, just share!  Love, Brynne

Thursday, June 4, 2009


What if, on the first sunny day,
on your way to work, a colorful bird
sweeps in front of you down a
street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile,
a sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street
and realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows some-
thing you don’t and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird
turns down an alley. For now
there is a tension: Is what the
bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two,
thinking you can have it both ways.
But soon you arrive at the edge
of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you
and you must decide which
appointment you were
born to keep.
--Mark Nepo

Friday, May 29, 2009

Which Will You Choose?

Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist and a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine grew increasingly disenchanted with his life. “The harder I tried to find happiness and satisfaction in my personal life, the more dissatisfied and unhappy I became.” He said he felt fate had dealt him a bad hand and that he had to accept it without question.

            In a last effort to alleviate this struggle, he took a teaching position at a medical school in the Caribbean. It was here in a place far removed from everything familiar that he began to approach his life from a new perspective, seeing things he had never seen before, feeling things he thought dead in himself, coming alive again.

One day, for a brief moment while reviewing his research, Bruce had a scientific epiphany. He discovered,

 “…a cell’s life is controlled

 by the physical and energetic environment

 and not by its genes.”

“You have within you the power, capacity and ability to literally—now this may shock you—literally change around the DNA that is the basic genetic makeup of your life….by changing the way you perceive things”

What does this mean for YOU?

It means YOU have the power to take your life, your mindset, your heart, your soul, your Self, in any direction, ANY direction, you desire. And you begin by listening to your heart of hearts. What is it telling you today? Will you honor it? If you don’t, who will? You are creating the life you perceive available to you. If you believe it’s a struggle, if you believe its filled with pain, if you believe good things rarely happen to good people, then that is the life you shall have. But if you believe that life is meant to be filled with joy, overstuffed with love and spilling its magic all over you---then that too, is the life you shall have. Which will you choose?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Can you remember what you would have felt had this been you?
Your heart beats quickly.
You breathe deeply.
You can't hide your smile.
Where do I start?
Oh my GOSH! Its all MINE?
A lightness of being.
Pure joy.
Pure magic.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

La Realidad es una Ilusión (1 de 2)

I wish I could break this up into parts...there is soOo much here....sOoO much to be hopeful about. From my smile to,Brynne

p.s. When the video is done click on the option for part 2 at the bottom of the screen if you want to continue.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

And let us not forget the magic in giving....
another beautiful piece by Mark Nepo.


Once the doctors broke their huddle, 
her uncle leaned in, “What would you like?” 
The little girl beamed, “A white piano!” 
It took him three weeks but he had 
one waiting in her room. She played 
it every day like the medicine it was.

And the guitar player stopping for water 
on his way through Virginia, hearing the 
gas station owner on the phone, “I got no 
choice. I gotta put ’em down.” The young 
man keeps telling everyone, “I don’t know 
why, but I had to take them.” Now the 
old dog and three pups live in his car.

And the old nurse who dreams of her 
grandma sitting in the backseat on long 
trips warming her hands. And this one,
in awe of her sister who after ten years of 
meditating gave it up to care for orphans. 
Not ’cause she was done with it, but ’cause 
what she found there was now everywhere.

And the speech therapist who when sad
opens the memory of her grandfather like 
a thin napkin holding a pressed flower. A 
country doctor, he took chickens instead of 
money. She was thirteen when he died. A 
week after the funeral, her father and uncle 
were going through his things. In a burst of
anger, her uncle dumped his books in the 
field by the burning barrel and dragged the 
bookcase home. It began to rain and the 
books, like broken doves, softened and 
enlarged. She took the older ones and 
keeps them close. She opens them
when it rains and he talks to her.

And how about the son of a heroin addict 
who serves soup in a shelter? Since the givers 
seldom know what they give, it’s the pour of 
the ladle that ties us all together. Now you tell 
me of your old aunt who lives on an island 
off the coast. Going blind, she’s tying ropes 
from house to tree to water bucket; 
feeling her way through all that 
is familiar and strangely liking it.
--Mark Nepo

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Courage to See with Fresh Innocent Eyes
I like to think that each of us sees through a prism, a prism much like the crystal one that makes rainbows on my walls every morning. Most of us forget that our prism can be turned, that we can see through a different facet of it at any time. Most of us don't ever touch it. We think it wont matter which way we move it, that it will always reflect light the same way. It's the few that dare to reach up and turn their prism, those that dare to see things in fresh, innocent ways, that find magic sprinkled throughout their lives. The magic is always out there, you just have to have the courage to turn your prism to see it. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

 Part Five

            Benji thought. He thought and he thought and he thought. Then one day he knew what he would do. There was a man on the hill. He was a very wealthy man. He would go to him. Benji put his guitar on his back and started the long climb up the mountain.

When he reached the estate, he walked across the tiny gravel on the drive hearing it crunch under his shoes. The heavy oak door in front of him mysteriously creaked open.

“Come in,” said the butler. “I saw you walking up the hill. Master and I and have been waiting for you.”

He walked up the meandering staircase, his feet padded by the plush red carpet. He looked up and saw a huge glass chandelier. On the walls he saw paintings the size of Rosa’s family home. His heart started to beat faster. He had never been in such a grand house before. He was frightened.

“What can I do for you, Son?” said a white haired man behind a big desk.

Benji took a deep breath. “I came to see if you would be interested in buying my guitar.”

“Your guitar? Now why would I want to buy your guitar?”

“It’s a beautiful guitar, not another one like it in the whole wide world. My grandfather gave it to me. Its surely an antique.” Benji knew rich people liked to have antiques.

“Why are you selling it if it is so precious to you, Son?” asked the white haired man.

“I have found love and her name is Rosa. I want to marry her and take her back to the United States with me but I don’t have enough money.”

“Fair enough. Why not play a little for me so I know it’s as special as you say it is.”

So Benji did. And because he knew it was the last time he would ever play his beloved guitar, he played as he had never played before. The love he felt for his Rosa, for the future they would have together, for the life they would share for years and years to come poured from his elegantly sculpted fingers. He felt a richness inside that he had never felt before, a sense that what he was doing was indeed a gift from the heavens, something he had been put on this earth to do. And when it was all too much to continue, when he felt as if his own heart might burst, he stopped. Slowly, he raised his head.

Benji looked at the white haired man. He had tears streaming down his face and his eyes were sparkling as bright as Rosa’s on that first day the two lovers had met.

“How much do you need to bring your bride home with you to the United States?”

“Three thousand US dollars, Sir.”

The white haired man cleared his throat with a loud grumble and then he said, “I will pay you that much to never sell your guitar, Son. It was made for you as the sun was made for the earth, as the sea was made to quench her thirst and as the wind was made to blow her dry.”

Benji couldn’t speak.

“Promise me though, promise me you will never sell your guitar. Promise me so I can sleep at night.”

            Benji nodded his head. His eyes, just like the white haired man’s, sparkled with tears.

            “Go then, go to your love and tell her what I have told you so that you may always remember this day, never doubting your life’s purpose again.”

            Benji nodded his head as he put his guitar back in its case, tucking the three hundred dollars into a little pocket near the back. He shook the man’s hand and the butler’s hand, too, each their heads bowed in honor and humility.

            “Thank you, “ whispered Benji, his heart now a lump in his throat.

As Benji walked down the gravel drive to tell Rosa the good news, a million things raced through his heart. They could leave tomorrow if they chose and they could even buy an ice cream on the way. ”Rosa would like that,” he said to himself. Benji reached up to feel his guitar on his back when he felt an urge to look up into the sky. Above him way up high was a bird— not big or small, not white or black, or even particularly pretty. In fact, it looked quite unusual. Benji blinked the wetness from his big eyes. The bird was soaring and it was swooping and its wings seemed free and alive in much the same way Benji felt right then himself. That was when he remembered.

“Please, dear Benji, please give the instrument your love and believe you me, it will return your love many-fold.” Benji smiled. His Grandfather was right. The guitar had returned his love many-fold, many-fold indeed. 

Presence of Magic, Indeed!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Part Four

Rosa lived on the far side of town in a little shack with her mother and father and six sisters and brothers. She was the oldest and the most responsible. That’s why she sold the flowers that grew around their house. At least that’s what Benji thought and he was right. He arrived on a Friday, just after lunch.

“Hola! Anyone home?” He gently sang out through the overgrown bushes at the gate.
“Who are you?” said an old man with a hat on. “I don’t know you. Go away.”
“I’m Benji. I have come to marry Rosa. She is the love of my life and I must have her as my wife.”
“Why Rosa, why not Maria or Blanca or Victoria? Rosa is my eldest and she brings the most life into our family. No. You can’t have Rosa. She stays.”
“But I love her.”
“I meant what I said. No.” And he slammed the gate.
Benji sat down wondering what to do when suddenly he knew exactly what to do. He unlatched the case and took out his guitar.
Well, if your imagination is anything like mine, you know darn well that half the village came out to hear Benji play. It was simply magnificent. People were speechless, weeping, covering their mouths and as always, clutching their hearts.
“Who is this man sent to us from the heavens?” they all wondered.
“He is the man that will marry Rosa, my eldest daughter,” said the old man with a hat on.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Benji lived in the United States and Rosa lived in Mexico. The Mexican government wouldn’t let Benji stay much longer since his Visa was about to run out. And to get Rosa a Visa to the United States, well, that was almost impossible. What were they to do?
“I know a man that can help you,” said a friend of Rosa’s, “come with me.”
So they did.

The man was a government official who did sly things on the side. He lived in the United States many years before and knew how to get things done with a little money slipped under the table. But it would cost them, he said, three thousand US dollars, money Benji just didn’t have. Rosa put her head in her hands and cried.
“Don’t cry, my love. I will figure this out,” said Benji. “I will find a way to pay him.”
“But that is just too much, mi amor. It will take me years to make that selling flowers.”

What were they to do?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Part Three

The more Benji played, the more love he felt pouring from his fingers. He didn’t understand how it was happening, but he was making music. Beautiful, heaven-sent music. Wherever he was, Benji played. And wherever he played, people didn’t just listen, they clutched their hearts. Benjamin Francis Smart had discovered what his most elegantly sculpted fingers were for.

The years went by and Benji finished school. He decided he didn’t want to go on to college so he got a part time job instead. When he wasn’t working he didn’t watch tv or mow the lawn. He didn’t go out to bars or talk on the phone with friends. All Benji wanted to do after work was to play his guitar.

One day when Benji was almost 40, his sister invited him to Mexico for a vacation. Benji had never been on a vacation. Even so, he decided to go. The next day, he packed up a small bag and with his guitar on his back, was on his way.

The first few days in Mexico were almost the same as back home except they were a bit warmer. He worked a little in the house for his sister then he played his guitar. Then he’d work a little more, and play his guitar a little more, too. Benji felt as content as he always did. Then something happened.

There was a ring at the door. Benji went to answer it. “Can I help you?” He said in his broken Spanish. The girl at the door smiled. She held her arms out. They were overflowing with flowers, some Benji had never seen or smelled or even heard of before.
“Do you want to sell me flowers?” he asked.
“Diez pesos,” she said, ‘barato.”
“One second,” he said, running inside to find his money. But Benji needed more than a second. This time it was he who clutched his heart. ”Is it still there?” he said to himself in a whisper. He wasn’t sure where his heart had gone. You see, for the first time in his life, Benji had fallen in love.

Every Thursday Rosa came to deliver flowers and every Thursday after she left he could barely handle the thought of having to wait a whole other week to see her again.
“This is too much for you, Benji,” his sister said. “You better go find her.”
So he did.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Part Two

Benji hadn’t been to see his grandfather and Luther in a few days. He had just been too busy with homework and chores. So when he came home from school and saw his mama crying and when he heard her eek out ‘Grandfather’ through her tears, he knew something bad had happened. As fast as he could, he ran to his grandfather’s house. Without stopping even once, Benji made it all the way to the front porch in no time at all. The door was open.

“Grandfather? Luther?” But there was only silence. Benji was all alone. He peered around the room. There on the kitchen table was an envelope. It said Benji on the outside. He opened it up and this is what it said:

Dear Benji,
I am going away for a while and I want you to know how much I will miss
you. Things just won't be the same without you and Luther. But don’t you
worry, I will check on you now and again and will do my best to look out
for you no matter where I go. I do have one request of you in return,
however. Will you, Benji, will you please take care of my guitar? It’s in the
hall closet in the black case. I think it has waited its whole life for you.
And perhaps you, too, have waited much of your life for it—you, with the
hands made for creating beauty. Please, dear Benji, please give the
instrument your love and believe you me, it will return your love many-fold.
This, I can promise you.
I love you, Grandson,

From that day forward Benji went nowhere without his guitar. When he took a shower, it sat next to the bathroom sink. When he went to school it sat next to his desk. Even when he ran errands for his mama on his bicycle, the guitar came too, strapped to his back.

Then one day when he was waiting for the bus that would take him to school, Benji strummed a string. He felt a surge of energy rise up from deep within his tummy. “Wow,” he thought to himself, “maybe this is what my grandfather meant. I haven’t ever felt anything quite like that before.” Instead of getting on the bus, Benji turned for the woods. He couldn’t think about school or teachers or math, all he wanted to do was strum those strings. So that is exactly what he did.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The following is based on a true story
as told to me by Benji's sister:

Part One

Benji wasn’t like most kids his age. For starters, his mama was a gypsy. That meant he got teased. And not just a little, a lot. Then, his daddy was an artist. That wouldn’t normally be so bad but his daddy was the messy kind, the kind that got paint all over himself, even in his hair and on his face and then when he did, he didn’t wash it off but went outside, sometimes even to the grocery store. Benji tried not to bring attention to himself, he liked to be invisible. But sometimes, with parents like his, it just wasn’t an option.

Benji had big eyes and a gently round face, two things he thought quite normal about himself. He actually even liked to look at himself in the mirror if he just focused on his eyes and the shape of his face. It was when he looked down, toward his arms and then his hands that he stopped liking what he saw. Benjamin Francis Smart had the most elegantly sculpted fingers the world had ever seen. His grandfather used to say they were made for creating beauty.

Every day after school Benji liked most to go to his grandfather’s house. He had to walk through a forest, down a hill, and around a pond to get there and he didn’t have to pass any of the houses where his school mates lived. Benji thought that was perfect. He liked to walk in silence. Once he got there, Luther, his grandfather’s black lab, always came out to greet him. Benji loved to rub Luther behind the ears. His grandfather said it was because everyone needs to love and be loved. Benji thought he might be right.

The years went by pretty fast for Benji. He never had many friends but he had his grandfather and Luther and as far as he was concerned, they were the best friends anyone could ever hope for. And even though his mama and daddy were a bit different than most, he loved them dearly, too. Benji was a pretty happy kid. One day, however, as it always happens in stories and in life, everything changed.