Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear (your name here),
Happy Birthday to you!
Your birthday cake sits on the coffee table in front of you. Everyone you love most in the world stands around you in a circle celebrating you—your birth, your beauty, your unique and wonderful you. They stop for a minute, this very minute, to see you, love you, admire all that is you. They see the flames sparkling in your bright young eyes, reflecting not just your four candles (always one to grow on!) but the joy bubbling up from your heart of hearts. This feels like magic, you think to yourself. And it is. I tell you, it is.
Maybe that’s why when I was three all I wanted for Christmas was a birthday cake. Mom tried to tempt me with a doll, or a new puzzle, even a rocking horse. Nope, nope, nope. All I wanted was a big frosted birthday cake. I can’t remember all these 37 years later what was going through my mind back then. Did I ask for a certain flavor? Mom doesn’t think so. Was I sweet deprived? I doubt it. So what then? Why a birthday cake?
Maybe I wanted to be loved in an intense way, admired, seen, celebrated for who I was. Maybe my brother’s birth, or my father’s new job, or our new house distracted the family. Maybe we all got busy trying to handle the stress of life and we stopped focusing on love. Maybe the three year old girl living in the crumbling farmhouse wanted to bring Christmas back to what really mattered. Maybe she was too young to make a cake for everyone in her family, but not too young to know a feeling and to ask for it for herself. Maybe?
So as I begin to feel the magic of Christmas this year, I remember the birthday cake that sat under the tree for me when I was three. I remember and am reminded that we all secretly (or not so secretly) ache for a love that makes us feel seen, cherished and celebrated. No matter if we are three or 93, its one of those feelings that never loses its magic. So here, dear Reader, a birthday cake with your name on it. From me, to you, with love. You are unique. You are cherished. You are beautiful. I know it right down to my core. Merry Christmas.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
It was raining. Pounding down on the cobblestone roads with excited fierceness. Soon the road was a river too high to pass without drowning my shoes. So I stopped inside a doorway and watched. Cars raced by parting the seas like Moses. Dogs hurried from door to door. My rain splattered clothes started to seep water onto my shivering skin.
And then, from out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving in the distance. It came closer and closer, riding the tiny waves, whimsical in its movements, making me smile even before I knew what it was. First its flag, then I saw the rest…it was a boat! A newspaper boat! And it was riding the new river through town, its little flag flapping in the wind, its happy little mood taking the sting out of an otherwise dreary moment.
How did I forget about newspaper boats on rainy days? I mustn’t forget to teach my daughter. I mustn't forget to remind myself. Ride the wave, Brynne, ride the wave.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Yesterday at my favorite café I sat writing. Writing and sipping my new special drink. (You can fill in the blank to whatever your favorite is) So there I was, writing and sipping, enjoying my morning, when a man came and sat in the squishy chair across from me. We smiled. Or maybe it was just me that did. I think he did back. He was tight. I like to smile at tight hearts.
A little while later when I assume his coffee had filled his bladder, he piled his newspaper onto his ipad and shot off like a rocket for the bathroom. He didn’t say a word to me. Just left.
A few minutes later he returned, plopping down in his squishy chair once again. He snuck his ipad out from under his newspaper and started working again.
Well, of course I couldn’t just let the opportunity slip away. It beckoned me. I practically felt the giggles deep in the base of my belly germinating, waiting for the invitation to be released. So I burst. With a silly idea.
“When you were gone,” I said with the most serious look I could muster, “a big burly man came and grabbed your computer. He started to run away but luckily I have been lifting weights so I was able to throw him to the ground when I caught up with him. And see this,” I said pointing to a place on the side of my face, “he did this. Hit me pretty hard. Bet it will be a nice bruise in a few minutes. But at least he didn’t get away with it. I would have felt terrible if you came back and your computer was stolen. Not on my clock.” I said, shaking my head.
The whole time I was telling my elaborate story he just stared. Sat and stared. Like I was a nuts-o, middle aged woman gone mad. His eyes got bigger at moments, then tried to look away, but couldn’t for more than a second. He was trapped. He sat himself next to a wild woman and didn’t know how to get away. Couldn't, not fast enough.
“Ah, thanks,” he said. “he, he…” he said faking laughter. “Funny.” His sarcasm stunk.
“Just wanted you to know I’m your friend,” I said, smiling. But his eyes were long gone, buried in his newspaper as deep as he could possibly go.
So I left it alone, trying to keep my giggles to myself but unable to stop asking myself questions: What came over me? Was I cruel? Trying to lighten up this man’s heavy life? Or was I just a little bit crazy and even more silly? Gosh, Brynne. Ding dong. And then I kept giggling. For what seemed like ages. To myself.
About an hour or so later, Mister Uptight packs up his things and starts to leave. Before I can say goodbye, yep, that’s right, before I can say goodbye, guess what happens? He wishes me a good day and says he will see me next time with a great big genuine smile wiped across his face.
“Wow...thanks! Bye!” I said right back, my eyes sparkling as bright as the sun.
Maybe being a little bit crazy and a lot more silly isn’t such a bad thing after all.:)
Monday, September 6, 2010
I was walking on the beach, alone, in a small fishing village on Mexico’s Pacific coast. A friendly couple, one I had seen numerous times in town and found to be particularly kind in the way they smiled at me, walked toward me, holding hands. As we neared, my heart started to beat faster. Why do I keep running into them, I said to myself, might they have a message for me? As they neared, my anxiety grew, my heart now practically yelling at me to speak to them. “Excuse me,” I said gently, “I keep running into you and I can’t help but wonder why. There are many people here and still its just you two I seem to keep finding on my path. It might sound silly to you, but might you have a message for me?”
“A message?” the man said. “Gosh, let me think. No, I don’t think we do. Do we have a message for this young woman, dear? Oh, yes…wait…yes, we do. Remember that other young woman we ran into a few months ago?”
“Yes…yes…I do.” She said to her husband. “Yes, that’s the message we have for her, you’re right.”
“We met a young woman a while ago who lived her whole life in the States. As the years went by she realized she was disenchanted with her life, nothing inspired her anymore, nothing except a dream she had to move to Mexico. So, one day, she packed up her bags, and left everything behind to follow her dream.”
“Except her dog, honey. She took her dog.”
“Oh yes, she took her dog. And she told us she has never been happier, that she wished she had done it earlier so not to waste even a single moment living anything but her dream.”
“Wow,” I said, dumbfounded, my brain in hiding, my heart still beating wildly.
“That’s our message to you,” he said with a smile, “I hope it helps you somehow.”
“Thanks,” I said. “Yes, I am sure it will.” And it did. Because I honored my deepest Self, the catalyst inviting the all-knowing energy to flow through me, because I listened to my heart, I didn’t miss a valuable message, a bright light illuminating my heretofore unknown path, the net that lay right before my eyes. I had always dreamed of living in Mexico and here was a message telling me that was just what I was meant to do. So….less than a year later, not knowing a single soul, not speaking the language, not even having a job lined up, I left behind my ‘normal’ life and set out to live my dream in rural Mexico.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
And above all,
with glittering eyes
the whole world around you
because the greatest
are always hidden
in the most unlikely
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it
--- Roald Dahl
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Dear Ms. Rosner,
Thank you soOo much for selecting me to win one of your precious copies of Blue Nude. I am honored and will treat it with delicate, loving care. Honestly, I can't wait to devour it and wish you were closer so we could sit over a cup of tea and talk about it, about life, about all the juicy things that the majority of people seem to skim over...and I seem to crave, constantly. I am working away on my own novel (passed the 40,000 word mark last week!) so I am sure I will appreciate it in ways most wouldn’t.
a daisy for your desk,
p.s. the premise sounds tantalizing…an artist and his model and their ‘engrossing, timely story.'
Dear Ms. Rosner,
Thank you for your kind words. I, too, was delighted to hear from you. I adore your work and couldn’t move my fingers fast enough when I saw your name in my ‘in-box’!
Something wonderful happened to me today, something that happened because of you! I can hardly wait to share!
We are spending the summer in San Miguel de Allende, a mountain town in Mexico. Its a beautiful town and one of the most magical things for me is the library. I hear its the largest English library south of the border. So when I won your book and didn’t know when my mom would be able to get it to me, you can bet I high-tailed it there right away. Today, in fact. And...I found it!! Hooray! So that’s part one.
Part two is this: I sat down in the library with Blue Nude next to me, preparing to do some research for a friend. The nearest seat was at a table with an elderly gentleman. I said hello and we started talking. After a few minutes of sharing his story (as so many of us ex-pats do) he then proceeded to tell me that he was an artist and that if I agreed, he would like me to be a model for him! He couldn’t have seen Blue Nude, it was hidden among my things and even if he did, his inquiry was genuine. Am I suddenly a character in your book? How's that for magic?
So just another beautiful tidbit that your book has brought into my life...and I havent even read it yet!! I think you must have written from your soul.
a smile and a squish,
p.s. the artist asked me to meet him any morning at 10 in the library. Still not sure if I will go. I think I may need to read Blue Nude first. I have a feeling I might need its guidance.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The crisp morning breeze begged me to gulp it down. I breathed in until my belly grew large. My clogs tapped the cobblestones with a hint of spunk. My hair, still drying on my back, swayed with the breeze, with my steps, with the lift of early morning.
I once read that one of the best gifts we can ever give is to see each other with fresh eyes. Meltdowns are forgotten by the next visit. Judgments are erased. All that is left is a blank canvas, one to be filled with who your friend is at that new and present moment in time. As I started down the hill into town, I wondered silently to myself if I could give that gift to a place, too. Could I see my familiar walk, the stores, the signs, the traffic, even the trees that lined the Jardin—with fresh eyes? Could I give San Miguel that gift? Could I give myself that gift?
As I neared the center of town, I heard the faint outline of music. It grew louder with every step, the kind of beat that thumps in your gut to bring out the primordial beast. It wasn’t ugly, though, it had a spirit to it, and from a distance I was intrigued. I think I even liked it. So when I rounded the corner, my smile had already marked its place.
The dancers looked like tin soldiers in tight little lines all moving in sync—hundreds of them in all shapes and sizes moving their bodies to the beat of the funky music, bouncing and swaying, jiggling and jostling, moving with a rhythm that was beginning to infect me, too! In the front was a man dressed in exercise gear, getting the crowd to push themselves harder. Move your booty! Let those hips bounce! Shake it, shake it, shake it! He blared into his microphone, his Spanish echoing across the plaza. Feet slapped the pavement, sweat stains grew still larger, faces swelled with heat, with exhaustion, with joy. Was I in the happiest part of a movie or was this real?
Of course I had to join in.
Of course I couldn’t stop laughing.
Of course I began to feel differently, even if just a little bit, about this familiar place.
Did I have my fresh eyes on or was it the universe giving them to me freely? Ok, so this was a big event, not something that happens every day, but the timing…it was so perfect. I asked and suddenly the familiar wasn’t so familiar anymore. It was fresh and new. And boy, did it feel good!
So...what if we all did that?
What if each of us asked for fresh eyes every day when we woke up?
What then would we see?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Went to an art show today with dozens of exhibitors. Huge oil paintings of contorted faces, swirls of acrylics with strings and words and musical notes, pulsating sculptures lit from within, metal contraptions, quasi-furniture, costumes, feathers on constructed wings….and then, amidst the decorated, playful noise, there it was. Respite for my soul. Something different. I looked thru a red painted room into the room behind it, felt drawn in like a moth to flame, my heart already smiling. Who was it that was able to see soul so clearly? Eyes painted on canvas with a depth greater than most living dare to share, secret colors, emotions that dripped and swirled. One canvas in particular I couldn’t peel myself from for minutes, staring like a child at her first Santa Claus. Awe. Wonder….Disbelief.
A man approached me.
‘Did you paint these,’ I said, my hands clasped in worship.
He beamed. He could tell my eyes saw what his did.
‘This?’ I said pointing to the painting I loved most of all.
‘Will you tell me about it?’ I said with longing.
For what seemed like seconds for it could never have lasted long enough, he told me the story of my favorite painting. He spent 3 months listening to one song over and over again. Not any other. Just the one. For 3 full months. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto. And then, when it was time, he stopped. He reached for his paints. And he created what he felt.
‘There is the melody,’ he said as he pointed, ‘and there, that’s the music in the background that elevates the melody. And the silence, that was the most difficult for me. Its easy for a musician to add silence but for a painter, it something different, something else entirely. There, there is the silence. Can you see it?’
‘And what is the sphere there, near the bottom?’ I asked.
‘The spirit. That’s Bach’s spirit.’
‘And the woman? Who is she?’
Would that we could all spend the time seeing, feeling, creating from our souls, listening to that which moves us, to that which brings us closer to the sacred sweetness we unconsciously avoid. I know I am a richer human being because Edgardo did. Now its just taking his wisdom and making it my own.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
You’re sitting at your desk. And you’re fretting. Not about everything but about something that’s been bothering you for a while now. It’s like an ornery sliver under your skin. Something you’d really like to eliminate but you just haven’t figured out how. You close your eyes, hoping to somehow erase it, not realizing you are also clenching your fists. You really want to resolve this.
You open your eyes. Room’s still the same. Then why does it feel different? Your eyes scan around you. No one is there …and then…you see it. Are you going nuts? What? In your office? You decide to go over to it, to see if it’s as real close up as it seems from a distance.
Its faded, colored with a smoky paint brush or with the steam of a hot cup of brew. As you touch it, it feels entirely real. The railing is cool, hard as real metal in your hand. Hell, you say to yourself, why not? And just like that, you start walking, winding up and around in circles like a crazy on a wild trip. You chuckle every time your shoes make a funny ping on the steps.
At the top of the staircase you step onto sand. Beach sand. You take off your shoes and throw them to the side. You walk toward the water. On the near-horizon, you see a boat. It looks like it is coming toward you. Yes, it is.
When it arrives, a beautiful woman in flowing gowns gets off and walks to you. She welcomes you by name and is visibly happy to see you. She tells you they have been waiting for you for a long time. She invites you to board the boat. You do and with the driver, the three of you go out to sea.
A few minutes later, you see the faint outline of an island. Your hair damp with sea water, your face warmed by the sun, you can’t help but smile. You feel safe. You feel good. You even feel a bit excited.
On the dock before you stands a number of people you have loved from your past, all dressed in white and eager to greet you. They welcome you with open arms, telling you how happy they are that you finally decided to visit. You can tell they have been waiting for you for a long time. Your heart swells as they guide you to a large building where more people dressed in white await your arrival.
In the middle of the room is a table. In the center of the table is a box. A white haired elder and someone you know well, either from your past or present, motions for you to pick up the box. You open it. What do you find? What do you feel?
A few minutes later, you thank them. They nod and smile, grateful that you finally came to pick up what was always yours. They invite you to visit again, telling you that your means may be different but your path will remain the same.
Later, after you have reconnected with many you haven’t seen for years, you know its time to board your boat. You say your goodbyes. There are some tears for you know you wont be seeing most of these people again for a very long time. You ride across the sea, the wind licking your face, your hands clutching the box on your lap, your heart swelling with appreciation.
When you say your last goodbyes and make your way down the staircase you suddenly realize that what seemed like an issue to you before, isn’t anymore. You see with great clarity and no worry follows this knowing, just peace. As you sit at your desk again you look over to watch the staircase fade like smoke into air. You smile to yourself, thankful that you haven’t lost your imagination. For without it, your worries would still take center stage, your heart would still be in hiding. No longer are you trapped in a world much smaller than it was ever meant to be. Your vision is bigger now. Much bigger. You touch your new box, feeling the wisdom housed inside. Finally, you remembered to reclaim what you had so long ago forgotten.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
LACONIA, N.H. – A black bear walked into a New Hampshire house through an open door, ate two pears and a bunch of grapes, took a drink from the family fishbowl and grabbed a stuffed bear on its way out the door.
Mary Beth Parkinson says the bear apparently took advantage of the open outside door to get into her kitchen Tuesday in Laconia, about 20 miles north of Concord. She thinks the garage door going up scared the bear enough that it fled the house.
She says she arrived in time to save the fish.
Parkinson said her 6- and 9-year-old boys made sure the doors were locked before they went to bed
Monday, July 26, 2010
For the past week or so I have been jogging in a new gym. The first few days were almost painful. I told myself it was the altitude (its over 6400 feet high here) that I had gotten out of shape, anything I could to soften the dread of going back. And then, today, something happened. The man who worked out next to me, stayed home. And guess what? I could have run for hours! So what happened? Was it his scent, his conversation…his energy?
The older I become, more and more I recognize how different people’s energies affect mine. Some literally drain me. Others fill me up. When I am out of touch with myself, rushed or stressed, I don’t notice the specifics of how energies affect me. I don’t seem to have time to hear what is going on around me. But when I slow down enough to hear and honor what I feel, everything begins to make sense, I know what I need to do to feel better. Luckily, I had help this time.
Mark is a super nice guy. He never hit on me, made me feel uncomfortable, or even talked too much. He even made sure to give me enough space to exercise in peace. But, honestly, his energy just didn’t jive with mine. It sucked me dry.
Energies aren’t ‘wo-woo’ anymore. They are real and their effects deserve to be honored. But to honor them, we must feel them, and to feel them we have to give ourselves the gift of quiet. Time alone to check in with ourselves and how we genuinely feel isn’t just good for our spirits, its necessary for our health and wellbeing. When was the last time you gave yourself that gift?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
One blustery winter eve beside a fire crackling in the hearth, an old scientist with messy white hair and glasses that hung off the tip of his nose decided to tell his grandson about the nature of the human brain.
He cleared his throat then said, ‘Son, there is a battle between two wolves inside each of us. One wolf is anger, jealousy, sorrow, greed, arrogance, inferiority, superiority, and ego. And he,’ he said touching the left side of his brain, ‘lives here.’
The other wolf is love, compassion, empathy, peace, connection, joy, infinite energy, and reverence for all things. Some have been known to call this wolf our heart but,’ he said touching the right side of his brain, ‘a large part of our heart lives here.’
The bright eyed grandson thought about it for a moment and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf is stronger? Which side wins?’ The elderly scientist leaned down as if to share a secret, then whispered in his raspy old voice: ‘The one you feed.’
(Modern version of an old Cherokee parable)
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Before talking on cell phones wasn’t allowed in cars, I used to talk while driving a fair amount. I had a long commute and it was the perfect time to catch up with friends or family. On this particular day, it happened to be raining, there happened to be heavy traffic, and I happened to have a car without anti-lock brakes. So when the car in front of me screeched to a halt and I instinctively slammed on my brakes, I slid directly into his back bumper with a loud bang.
“I have to call you back,” I said to my husband at the time, “I just hit a car.”
I got out to survey the damage only to be greeted with one of the most obscene mouths I had ever before encountered. It went something like this minus the swear words:
“Who do you think you are driving like that? Do you know how much this car costs? The bumper alone probably costs more than your entire car! And I saw you talking on the phone, too. Cars are for driving, they’re not social playgrounds…” This well-dressed businessman went on and on, his tirade practically changing weather patterns, say nothing of his blood pressure or the color of his face. I stood facing him, looking him straight in the eye the entire time. Occasionally, I nodded my head in agreement. When his speech slowed, I dared to respond.
“You’re right. All of this is completely my fault and I take full responsibility. I understand your anger, you have a right to it, and whatever I can do to make this situation better, to make you feel better, I will do. You have a beautiful car and I am sure you have invested a lot of money into it so go ahead, yell at me some more.” And then a little quieter I said, “Of course I’d prefer less swear words, but that too, is your right.” Then I smiled, but barely.
The man didn’t start up again but instead, put his hands in his pockets, paced a bit around his car looking at me then the ground, and then back at me again. He walked to the bumper which was oddly unscathed, staring at it and scratching his head. From where I stood, I couldn’t see any damage but I wasn’t about to defend myself. It was, like I said, entirely my fault. Finally, he came up to me. He pulled out his wallet.
“I’ve never met anyone that handled a situation quite like you just did and I’d like to offer you a job.” He handed me his business card. He was the CEO of a large, well-respected company. “You are exactly the kind of person I want working for me.”
I was speechless but managed a thank you and a heartfelt smile.
He outstretched his hand, “No,” he said. “Thank you.” And he got in his car and drove away.
I got in mine only then realizing my knees were shaking. I took a deep breath just as the cell phone rang. It was my husband.
“Are you alright? What happened?” He was worried, and rightly so.
“I’m ok. The man I just hit thanked me and offered me a job.”
“What? Are you kidding me?” He was shocked but I could hear his smile.
“I’ll explain it all when I when I get home.” I said with a toothy grin, a giggle escaping just enough for him to know that everything was going to be just fine.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The drive was therapeutic. The ribbon of a back road highway meandered like a mountain creek over hills and through patches of forest, beside farmhouses and fields of green. It was the perfect transition from my clean, easy suburban lifestyle to the grit and gruel of Orange Correctional Center, a minimum security prison for men in Hillsborough, North Carolina where I volunteered as a music and art therapist for a small group of schizophrenic inmates.
My tires crunched gravel as I pulled up to park next to the chain link fence topped with razor wire. I pushed the bell and in no time a uniformed correctional officer let me in.
“’Mornin’ Miss Brynne. Mighty fine day now, woon’t you say?” No need for any identification or security badges—I had been coming for years, every Friday nine-o’clock.
“Certainly is, Officer. Beautiful even.” We exchanged smiles, too.
The small activity room sat on the far side of the camp. I passed a few inmates on my way, each one nodding, some removing their cigarettes out of respect. A few even smiled before their eyes met the ground. A smile too kind might get them a write-up. Most weren’t willing to take that risk. A write-up could mean more time. I opened the door and started to set up my things. Slowly, like teenagers on the first day of middle school, they started to amble in one by one.
“Mornin’ Miss Brynne.”
“Nice to see you, Miss Brynne.”
“How ya doin’, Miss Brynne.”
I greeted each one, too, gauging their state of mind by their voices. Everyone seemed pretty stable. I decided to go ahead with my planned activity.
I always believed that schizophrenia was not so much an illness as it was a state of mind, and working with the ‘guys’ (as I affectionately called them) only confirmed this supposition. Donner snapped when he went to Vietnam. Antwon when his Mama’s house burned down with her in it. Herb saw his baby sister get run over by a train. Each one had some horrible story, some unbearable reality they had to escape. Each one was creative enough to construct a new and more habitable reality. Maybe that’s why I always felt they were somehow more evolved even wiser than most every other ‘normal’ person I had ever known. Maybe that’s why I always felt they taught me much more than I could ever teach them. And especially….on this particular day.
Most days I had a few things planned and I let the guys show me what suited them the best. Some days we’d dance (ok, maybe a few would only move their fingers but they were required to move at least that), other days we’d paint. Sometimes I’d take them on a visual meditation or a walk through the gardens of their dreams, and all days we’d end with smiles. On this day it was music that felt right and unlike the usual jazz or soul, I had chosen a song for its words, for its message, a song that I thought would help them see how very wise they were even if society didn’t ever tell them so. The song was “I Have A Dream” by ABBA, and none of them had ever heard of it, or the band, before. I was thrilled.
I played the song then shared with them the words, asking them one by one what they thought it all meant. At first they were shy and unsure, afraid to say what they really thought. But then, as I began to share what I thought the singers were saying, I noticed a change of scenery in that little room that will stay with me forever.
Tightness was replaced with soft lines. Raised shoulders dropped, heads held up straight suddenly cocked to the side, revealing fresh vulnerability. Even their smiles seemed deeper, as if we now shared a secret. The song’s words told a story, their story. For a few minutes, the music of ABBA made them feel less crazy, more understood, maybe even beautiful. And I like to imagine that for a brief moment, they might have even grown compassion for themselves, a gift they might have never known before.
Years later I still think of nothing else when I hear that song. I see their faces open, exposed, revealing the essence of who they really are. I remember the feeling of breaking through another person’s invisible wall to that vulnerability we all keep hidden beneath layer after layer of protective armor. And then, before all those images and feelings leave me, I find myself growing compassion and, as they say in the song, to once again see and value the beautiful, magic wonder of the fairy tale.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Do you crave ‘something more’, but find yourself clueless as to where to begin? Or do you begin, only to realize you have lost interest in all your self-imposed ‘shoulds’? Does it seem too difficult to reach for, too painful to admit, too disruptive to announce even to yourself? Do you tell yourself you are too old to change or that this is the bed you made and now you have no choice but to sleep in it? Does your negative self-talk kill all the dreams before they even fully form?
I hear you.
You aren’t alone.
I am right here.
And I get it.
Come with me. Take my hand. Not for a day or even an hour, just for a few minutes. Let me be your friend, trust me from afar to hear you, to see you, to feel that beautiful essence that is you, the real you.
We are sitting on my couch with the fan whirring overhead. You prop up a pillow behind your back, I do the same. You realize suddenly how tropical the setting is. You see the lush flowering plants through the opened windows. You hear the birds sing their varied tunes. You breathe in ginger and gardenia and of course, the scent of the sea. A smile emerges on your face. Your eyes twinkle. You barely know me but somehow, with a twist of delighted curiosity, you already feel at home.
I invited you here because I care. I want to get to know you. Something in me tells me that yours is a bright and beautiful heart and that somewhere along the way, it went into hiding, only emerging when ‘appropriate’. Something tells me that the time is ripe for this beautiful heart of yours to reclaim its place of honor.
I invite you to speak. You don’t know where to start so you laugh a bit uncomfortably, unsure of what to say. I sense that and decide to ask you questions, questions to gently reawaken your heart.
I want to know what dream keeps coming back to you day after day, year after year. Do you remember what was important to you when you were a child? Before everything got so busy and responsible. Did you grow up to be who you wanted to be? Have you given up too many dreams? Is there one that you keep very tight, close to your heart, afraid it too, might get away?
And then I ask you if you have ever been in love. I want to hear all about it.
I want to know what your perfect day is like. From beginning to end. And to hear if you could do anything, anything at all, what it would be. What would you taste, see, feel with your finger tips and toes? What would your tummy say and how would your beating heart react?
What, I would ask, could you begin that inspires you? I would remind you that it doesn’t have to be something grand. Tiny is just fine if it feels thrilling, exciting, right for that bright and beautiful heart of yours.
What makes you smile? What makes you angry? What gives you hope? What makes you scared? What can you say to yourself next time negative thoughts try to make a home in your heart?
And as I ask you these questions that burn in my heart, I also ask them of myself. I invite myself to live my way toward my answers, and then invite you to do the same. For when we try to live our way to our answers, we begin to reacquaint ourselves with our hearts and as we do, we release a sacred elixir, the vitality of an awakened heart.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Five years ago I stumbled upon a magic Mexican casita. Now, at first glance, I doubt anyone would have thought it magical. The crumbling square box was alternately surrounded by overgrown weeds and clods of dirt, oh, and don’t let me forget the dog poop, strutting roosters and decaying garbage. Its windows were hanging off their hinges and the few that weren’t, were sealed shut. The floor was raw cement, rough enough to feel like gravel underfoot. The bathroom had a drain in the middle of the floor and remnants of more roaches than I care to remember. But the ceiling was pretty, even if the fans hung off to one side and the location was great. And best of all, I felt the little house’s magic spirit and saw her amazing potential. At that moment, I knew she was exactly what I needed in my life.
So I made an offer, took a conscious step toward my dream.
But the owners said I was too late. A French couple beat me to it. I was crushed. I went back to my apartment and cried. And then, between bouts, I put my hands together, asking the universe to bring my casita back to me. If she is meant for me, I said, then please, oh please let her come back to me. I do so need her. She does so need me. Please, I begged. Please?
Three days later, I saw a dear friend in town who knew my plight. Hey Brynne, he said, the casita is still for sale. What? I exclaimed, someone must have listened, someone must have heard me! Within minutes I was making another offer, an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Five years have passed since that day and now the casita no longer has the space that my daughter and I need. Her vine covered garden wall, her lush tropical gardens and spirited bubbling fountain, her pottery and sculpture and shelves packed with sultry Latino novels, even her chandelier in the bathroom, the one that brought me so much joy—all of her delights will soon belong to someone else. Someone else I already know and love.
It all happened a few weeks ago when I was introduced to Shaheen, a friend of a friend I had been told I needed to meet for years. Over dinner Shaheen told me she was dreaming of living in our little Mexican town one day. Why not buy my casita, I said enthusiastically! When can I see it, she asked, mirroring my enthusiasm.
Later, sitting on the couch and staring out at the casita’s gardens, I told Shaheen the story of how the casita came to me. I looked up to see her covering her mouth. Are you alright? I asked. Can I get you some water? She shook her head, then spoke. Brynne, she said, we were the French couple who was going to buy this house five years ago. I didn’t understand until now why my husband kept dragging his feet, why he didn’t just give them the money, why he kept saying we needed to wait. I can’t believe this, but my husband heard you, Brynne. We didn’t buy the casita back then because you needed it more than we did. (I think this was when we both started to cry through our smiles) And now, its our turn, Brynne. Now we need her more than you do. Not only that, you have fixed her up to be what we dreamed for her, for us. Brynne, she said with tears making her eyes sparkle with joy, we helped you create your dream and you helped us, create ours.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
"...when you throw a stone into the water, it finds the quickest way to the bottom of the water. It is the same when Siddhartha has an aim, a goal. Siddhartha does nothing; he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he goes through the affairs of the world like the stone through water, without doing anything, without bestirring himself; he is drawn and lets himself fall. He is drawn by his goal, for he does not allow anything to enter his mind which opposes his goal. That is what Siddhartha learned from the Samanas. It is what fools call magic and what they think is caused by demons. Nothing is caused by demons; there are no demons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goal, if he can think, wait and fast." from Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
|Sitting at my computer working on my novel when I feel a drip, drip, drip on my head. I think my imagination is really getting good. Oh... is it raining in my book because it certainly isnt raining here. I touch my head. Wow. Its wet! I look up. Its too dark to see anything. I start to panic. Maybe I'm losing it. I rub my fingers together to be sure they are still wet, that I didn't dream it all up. No...my fingers are still wet! I get my new flashlight. Click and scan skyward. I can't see anything and then....I see it. A GECKO!!!!|
I decide to call Mom. "Hi Mom. Sorry to call so late but I had to tell someone."
"What Honey, what's wrong?"
"A gecko just peed on my head!!"
And then...."I hate to tell you this, Brynne, but gecko's don't just pee."
Ahh....the presence of magic.