Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Wish (23)

I grew up with a barn. A big old-fashioned barn. And in that barn out behind my childhood home was a hayloft. The kind you see in the movies. With a rope swing and even a resident owl. Breathe in with me? A deep swig with your eyes closed. Yep…there it is. The sweet and musty scent of hay. In my childhood barn.

My neighbor Sandy had her own barn, too. She lived across the field. Her’s was red and white. Mine was a soft, peeling-paint yellow. Her’s was filled with hay, just like mine. But Sandy’s barn was different. You see, Sandy’s dad was a real farmer. And real farmers, in addition to using their heads, use their sixth sense. They intuit. They feel. They are connected to nature. Sandy’s dad knew that the hay wasn’t just for feeding the animals. He knew it was an opportunity for fun, too. So every year when he filled their hayloft in their red and white barn, he didn’t stack the bales in tight little rows like legos with thoughts of practicality. Nope. Sandy’s dad took the extra time to throw reason to the wind and to elevate fun to its rightful place not just for us kids, but for himself, too. Sandy’s dad made Sandy’s hay loft into an entire magical world.

Up levels, down levels, dead ends and sharp turns, tunnels to make even a bore squeal with happy. Cozy little cubbies just right for two girls to tell their secrets, big open spaces near the tip-top windows to see the rolling fields high up from above—Sandy’s dad thought of everything to make my heart sing. And every year when the new bales came in, I could hardly wait to see what new magic, what new fun, what new delight awaited me in Sandy’s hay loft across the field.

*          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for You?

You probably work. You probably need to use your head to do your job properly. And that’s all good, of course. You have to eat, after all. But sometimes,  that head needs to be thrown out and into the wind. Sometimes we need to get back to our roots, to the real farmers that live within each of our souls. We need to remember our connection to nature, our natural need for fun, and how we all, at some point in our lives and more often than not, over rate practicality and the importance of head. We forget to cultivate the lightness of fun…the magic of being.

This week, I challenge you to loosen the reins, to stop your head from driving your life’s car. Maybe not all day, or even for very long, but for as long as you can. And longer every time, until you see what a difference less head can make in the fun of your day. Be silly without thinking of the repercussions. Aren’t repercussions really just other people’s issues anyway? Eat some decadent food without a thought of what it will do to the scale. Make a desired phone call without wondering how someone else might interpret it. Take a sick day to lounge in your bathrobe with bubbles and chocolate and not a sniffle in sight. Put your head on the shelf and feel like a real old fashioned farmer with a barn full of hay and a banjo on your knee. Feel. Be. Trust. And believe. Believe what? That everything is better, more magical, when we honor what makes our souls sing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday Wish (22)

I was sitting at the kitchen counter in my childhood home. It was early morning, before school. My brothers were on either side of me, each of us eating cereal. Cheerios. It was silent but for our silverware hitting the porcelain, our little mouths occasionally slurping up the happy milk-soaked rings.

“What did you say?”
I looked over at my elder brother. Was he talking to me? Yep, he was looking at me with the half irritated, half curious brow only a brother can give.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Yes you did. I heard you.”
“It wasn’t me.”
“Oh, really? Then who was it?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“I don’t?”
I shook my head, “Nope.”
He pushed in a big pile and chewed violently, his cheeks bulging. I could almost hear their terrified screams. That was it. I had to tell him.
“The cheerios. My cheerios were laughing.”
He choked on his own laughter, spraying the counter with white and brown splatter. “You’re weird,” he said.
“I told you you didn’t want to know. I knew you wouldn’t understand. But just so you know the whole story, I eat them gently, so they can ride down unhurt. It’s like a water slide. They laugh when they go down. It’s super fun. For them and for me. You should try it sometime.” I took another bite, my face pure smile. Pure smile.

*          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for You?

Christmas dinner is almost here and I am willing to bet that a few of you get to eat with at least one person you don’t really enjoy. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of you are right now, all these hours ahead of time, dreading such things as conversation topics, uncomfortable questions, all the patience you are going to need, even the way you feel in your belly when you’d rather be doing something entirely different than listening to this person who you really don’t connect with on your left. I mean, lets face it, sometimes we have to do things we don’t always enjoy. And especially when it’s the nice thing to do. But…we do have a little wiggle room. And that’s what I’m here to help with. The wiggle room, the place where fun lives even when boring or painful or ugly surrounds you. And you know what? Even when it doesn't. You see, wiggle rooms are just as fun to be in when life is pure joy.

My Wednesday Wish for you, whether you are dreading Christmas dinner or more excited about it than anything else all month is…are you ready for this…to give consciousness to your food. That’s right. Let your food come alive. Imagine what the mashed potatoes are saying as you slop them onto your plate. “Hey, easy. Its Christmas for me, too, you know.” And what about the dessert? “Ooh, I love this part, when I touch your tongue. I love to make you feel happy, you know. I can hardly wait to play in your belly, too. I will keep making you happy all night, if you let me!” Whatever you eat, invite it to speak to you, to give you smiles, to make your Christmas even more magical than perhaps it has ever been. Give yourself a little childhood fun, if not for me, then for the boring old lady on your left who has never had a better Christmas conversation with anyone but you in her entire life.  

And p.s. don't forget to watch this video. It might give you a happy head start. For truth is, you don't have to stop with your food. Maybe a lot more in your life craves consciousness, too:)

Address Is Approximate from The Theory on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Wish (21)

A Friday morning with Fernando, my Spanish language partner, in the library of San Miguel de Allende, a colonial mountain town in the heart of Mexico:
     "Lo siento, Brynne but I cannot meet you on Sunday morning. Sunday I go to church. How about Sunday afternoon?"
     "Si, si," I said, "no problem. But Fernando, I thought you said you weren't sure if you believed in God. Then why do you go to church? To be convinced?"
     He giggled. "No, no." He sighed, his eyes looking down, then suddenly straight up, into mine. "You want the truth?"
     I nodded with an eager smile. It was hard not to smile when Fernando was around. He was such a kind human being. And besides, his English accent was adorable.
     "I go to church because the church is filled with old people. I do not like church, and true, I am not even sure if I believe in God. But, maybe I do not like church just because I am young and not yet wise. Old people are old, and many are also wise. If old people think church is worth going to, then I must trust them. They have little time and yet still, they go. I have lots of time so its even more important that I go. You see, Fernando wants to be the best man he can be so he listens to the old people."

*          *          *

We are all getting older every day. The question is, do you experience aging as a degradation? Or do you experience it as a process of sage-ing, growing into the wisdom that you always were? In the United States, most people usually associate aging with a sense of degradation. But in many places in Mexico for example, the elderly are revered, honored, held in the highest esteem. And why? For the simple reason that they have walked where we have yet to tread. They have seen and felt and experienced life with a depth (not always, but many times) that only comes with age. Degradation may be the physical face of aging but the soul's face of aging is very different. Its softer, gentler, and yes, wiser.

*          *          *
My Wednesday Wish For You?

My Wednesday Wish for you? To transform your idea of aging (and maybe someone else's) by listening to an old person this week, a sage. Maybe someone you know, maybe someone you do not. But someone that you feel needs to be heard. Ask them their advice about that question on your mind. Invite them to share what they wish they would have known when they were younger. Tell them what you fear and let them tell you if your fears are worthy to be honored for many minutes or very few. And if you can't get out to find this older soul who has so many messages for you, then stay right here, with me. For there is a lovely sage filled with wisdom waiting for you at the end of this movie with beautiful words and pictures, and just...for you. Hope you enjoy. with love, Brynne

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wednesday Wish (20)

The cold has come earlier this year to my sweet little Mexican town. And after our seemingly thousand degree summer, the low sixties does nothing less than chill me to the bone. My thin nightgown, the same one that seemed like wool in the summertime is suddenly as useless as a single layer of Kleenex. My toes are little ice cubes. And forget my nighttime shower ritual. I need all the heat I can get. Maybe that’s why I got out the comforter tonight. OoOo…can’t wait. Silly girl, you say. But its not just because I like to be warm. Oh, no. It’s much, much more than that. (Here, come closer, let me whisper the truth into your ear.) You see, with comforters come cold faces and toasty warm bodies, one of the juiciest ways to dream. And with December so near, I’m afraid it’s inevitable. For me, anyway. Dreaming in December always seems to take me to the same magical, dreamy-eyed place. A place I look forward to each and every year. Can you guess? Yep, it's Christmas. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. Like I said, OoOo….can’t wait.

*          *          *

“Have you ever seen Santa Claus,” I asked my mom in the parking lot as we walked into Safeway, hand in hand. “I mean, the real one?” It was dark. I could already see the moon. But in Washington State that just meant after five o’clock.
            “I don’t think so. Maybe once when I was a very little girl, but I was never very sure. There wasn’t anyone around to confirm it.” She shrugged, playing along like she always did, careful to side step my delicately tended imagination, the garden of my youth. And especially near Christmas time.
            Just then I looked up into the sky and right there in front of the twinkling stars, I saw something moving. “Mom! Look! It’s Santa! There's Santa!” A family friend who was walking with us dared to roll his eyes, to chuckle to my mother as if I wouldn’t notice. My mother squeezed my hand. I had noticed and she knew it.
            “Where, honey? Show me!” Her eyes eager, caring, trying as best she could to water my imagination.
            But it was too late. Santa was gone. Or rather, the wonder-filled bubble I was blowing was popped. Popped by a man who didn’t know the gift my mother was giving me. Popped by a man who didn’t remember the magic of a child’s imagination. Popped by a man who’s life never knew enchantment as an adult and sadly, never would.

*          *          *
My Wednesday Wish for You?

To check in with yourSelf this first week of December and, if need be, readjust your attitude toward Christmas. It may be one of the coldest times of the year but perhaps like me, your dreams will start to come alive. It may be a time when you feel overwhelmed or even depressed by all the shopping and buying and superficial yearnings that empty your pockets dry, among other things, no doubt. But perhaps, like the disenchanted man of my childhood, maybe you too, have forgotten what Christmas is really all about. Maybe you accidentally forgot the most important stuff. But don't worry. We all have at some point in our lives. You’re human, after all. And anyway, they’re never far away. None of the best things are. They always live inside of us, waiting for their turn to be reached for and cherished again. So how? How do you get back to not just seeing but feeling the magic of the season with childlike wonder again? It's simple. You give. You give of yourSelf, your talents, your love, your heart. That, is my wish for you as we begin to move closer to the remember the magic of Christmas.
(bonus video below)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wednesday Wish (19)

Its Thanksgiving in the United States, a time for Americans, world over, to reflect on their lives and what they are thankful for. Me, my list is long, much too long to share in a blog post. But there is one. One on my list that I must share. One that means an awful lot to me. And it I am thankful for you. You read my heart, you give me a chance to speak to your own, and sometimes you even touch my soul. So today, for Thanksgiving, I thank you. I thank you from my heart for walking this part of my journey with me. Its been an honor and a pleasure and a heck of a lot of fun:)

*          *          *
My Wednesday Wish for You?

First, to listen to this song and to let it affect you, to let it speak to you in the way you need to be spoken to. And to remember that even though Heather Headley is singing, it is my wish for you...

And second, to let yourself be more affected this week. To open yourself up for more to enter in. Maybe you will cry when you need to and not pretend it doesn't hurt. Maybe you will hug someone when the urge strikes instead of letting it go for another time. Maybe you will laugh, laugh, laugh and much louder than anyone else. Yes, the emotion. Let it all in. And let it all out. Be affected this week in ways you haven't allowed yourself before. Feel for the homeless man who holds a sign for food. Shiver for the school children as they wait for the morning bus. Find tender thoughts for the lost dog wandering along the road. Or the forest tree loaded with ice and snow, caving under the weight of it all. And then, with open eyes, watch how a simple act of being more affected by your surroundings can change not just how you see, but what you see.

You know, a long time ago I allowed myself to be affected by you and because of that simple choice, I see and feel more magic now than I ever have before. And that is good, very very good. Thank you, from my heart.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Wish (18) BONUS WEEK!

Have you ever seen one of these? This one is in the parking lot at the Puerto Vallarta Costco. But it’s not just at the PV Costco, symbols like the one above are painted in parking lots across the country. And not just in Mexico, either. All over the United States, too. Home Depot, Office Max, Target, all the big stores seem to have at least one somewhere in their parking lot. So why? What does it mean or what purpose does it serve?

Over the years I have asked everyone I could think of: employees, managers, other shoppers, even my father who knows the answers to questions I haven’t even asked yet. And not a one had any idea what it was. Most people had never even noticed it until I pointed it out to them. So one day, a few years ago, I made a decision. Once and for all I would decide what it was. Yep, me. All by myself.

It is, for all intents and purposes (are you ready for this?) an alien pick up point. That’s right. You don’t have to believe in aliens or even want to imagine them but it remains a new and little known fact. It is an alien pick up point. That means that unless you want to be beamed up to some unknown space ship and whisked away for some unknown amount of time, do not, under any circumstance, risk walking and/or driving over any pick up point. Ever. The consequences could prove fatal. And not just for you, but for those you love, as well.

A word of warning: some may not take the gravity of the pick up point seriously enough and may try to tease you about it. I made the mistake of telling my beloved about my concerns, and this week, when he went to town on his own, he took matters into his own hands. Unbeknownst to me, he made a special trip to Costco and amid stares from various shoppers was still able to find the nerve to stand right you know where. In the CENTER of the alien pick up point! Even worse, along with my favorite goat cheese, he brought me two horrible presents. This: 

And this:

 *          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for You?

Put a little silly into your week—in a parking lot, in a restaurant, hmmm-- even in your dishwasher or with a rubber band or two. Make yourself laugh. Make someone else laugh. Find a way to make your every day, a silly day. For sillies make smiles. And smiles open hearts. And open hearts make life a heck of a lot more fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wednesday Wish (17)

“I don’t understand, Brynne. How do you know that about me?”
            She wasn’t upset or disturbed, but intrigued. And smiling.
            “Wait. My accent?”
            “Partly? What else?”
            I looked into her eyes, her transparent eyes. I listened to her heart, maybe even her soul, her very essence aching to be seen, or so it felt.
“Your heart. It is open,” I said.
            Her face broke out into an enormous smile, the kind that comes from your belly and rises up like an unstoppable wave. “What a beautiful compliment. Yes, it is. You’re right.”
            I smiled and waved as I walked away. No more words could make the situation any more magical for either of us. I could see. She was seen. We had connected.

*          *          *

Most of us see with our eyes, listen with our ears and taste with our tongues. When someone is talking it is considered customary to listen to their words and to respond to what they say with our own. It’s the polite thing to do. In fact, anything different is usually thought of as either rude or weird. But what if we bucked the system? What if we dared to listen with our hearts instead of just our ears? What if dared to respond with our souls? What if we tasted the emotion of a moment instead of just the same old same old flavor of our daily meals? How then might our world be?

*          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for You?

This week I wish that each of you might challenge yourself to listen with your heart to the voices of the hearts that surround you. Word, shmurds—listen for what the speaker’s heart is really saying. Do they need to be seen for who they really are? Do they want to feel less alone? Might they benefit from a little silly in their day or a touch to their skin? Open your own heart and it will hear. Let your soul, the deepest part of yourSelf, show you the way. You might even intuit things you didn’t expect, things you couldn’t possibly know with your mind alone. Offer what you see but know that sometimes, your observations might not be appreciated. Sometimes, you might be thought of as rude or weird. But know this: An accusatory “How did you know that?” comes from a closed heart. And there is nothing that liberates a closed heart more than another open one who ‘sees’. So go for it! See with your heart, care with your soul, and let what you see open up an entire new world…not just for you, but for everyone around you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Healing Vibes to Wholeness

As I sit here still recovering from the flu, I wonder if some of you, too, are struggling with wholeness in your life. Maybe this video will speak to you as it has to me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wednesday Wish (16) partial:(

A Note To Brynne's Faithful Readers:

Miss Brynne has a particularly ugly flu bug this week, and as much as she is trying to get herself to write your Wednesday Wish tonight, I, Miss Bubble Gum, am here to inform you that I do not, in fact, expect my sick friend to succeed.

I, Miss Bubble Gum, offered to give you a partial on the Wish for this week, and thankfully, Brynne agreed. You see, she has the whole wish all mapped out in her heart, just hasn't been able to sit at the computer long enough to write it all down in little black and white letters. It makes her head hurt too much and since the whole family is sick too, there isn't anyone else but me to assist.

So...your Wednesday Wish (due to be filled out in its entirety later this week), is to go to the store and buy some old fashioned Bubble Gum. Not Trident or Juicy Fruit or any of those skinny, measly little things but the sugar laced, fat chunks of pink that kids love the absolute most. And for a good reason, I might add...we taste good and make giggle monsters out of even the angriest of faces. So, get your Bubble Gum, put in at least one whole pack (no mistake...the entire pack) and let your teeth go! Then, when it's good and sloppy and you feel the sugar starting to work its magic, blow Bubbles like you used to when you were a sugar-happy kid! Blow them BIIIIG and make a mess on your face. Blow them HUUUUGE and make your neighbor wonder about your sanity. Blow them over and over again, and watch your day be touched by a simple pack of yes, Bubble Gum.

One last note: There is a story behind this. Please come back soon to read it. Brynne would be sad if I took all her weekly fun away. She does so love to share her Wish with you every week and can't wait to tell you the rest of her Bubble Gum story.

Happy Bubbling!

Miss Bubble Gum

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wednesday Wish (15)

“Why do you always walk that way when this way is faster?”
My neighbor and friend looked at me through her glasses, blinking, utterly confused. We were on our way to class at the University of Washington and as usual, it was raining and cold.
I shrugged. “I like this way better. It makes me smile.”
Her eyes spun a ‘woa, she’s weirder than I thought’ before she turned to follow me. A few minutes later, “Has anything made you smile? Just want to be sure I’m not missing something.”
“Almost there," I said.
 I was sure I heard her moan but I chose to ignore it. It wouldn’t be long. She would understand soon. Very soon. Or so I hoped.

The window to the barbershop was large. Maybe as large as entire car. I had walked this way for weeks now and every chance I got, I passed by their window. At first, I just turned and gave the two men inside a shy smile but after about a week, when they began to return my joy, it grew into a full-fledged smile, the kind that warms you from the inside out. They looked like they had found the same joy themselves. I saw it day after day in their sparkling eyes and of course, their smiles. So on this particular day, I was passing by with a friend. It was something I hadn’t done before. I could hardly wait.

I stopped and tapped on the glass with my knuckles. My friend stood beside me, not saying a word. First one barber, then the other, turned toward the window to see who was there and not a second later both of their faces erupted into sparkles. I waved my mittened hands, my heart warmed by our connection. I didn’t even know their names, but I knew their hearts and they were filled with kindness.
            “Are they friend’s of your dad?”
            “Your grandpa’s?”
            “Then how’d you meet them?
“I didn’t.”
            “You mean, you don’t know them? I don’t get it. You just waved and they waved back like you were old friends.”
            “I’ve never spoken with them. I just see them everyday on my way to class, and we share smiles.”
            “You smile at strangers?”
            “They aren’t strangers anymore. Not after the first smile. And that was weeks ago.”
            I think that’s when I felt the second, ‘woa, she really is weirder than I thought.’ But I didn’t mind. My heart was on fire and that was all that really mattered to me.

 *          *          *
 My Wednesday Wish for You?

To connect with a stranger this week. And not on the internet or on the phone (although such connections are fun, too!) but the old-fashioned way—in person. Smile with your genuine eyes, let someone you don’t know feel the kindness in your heart. And don’t worry if they don’t take it the right way. We can’t control what others think. Just worry about getting yourself right. Center yourself in your heart, in that place that cares about others and wants the world to be a better, more friendly place. Feel that. Be there. And then, with that intent, give it away. As a smile. To a stranger. And watch your world grow smaller, kinder, and more caring…with every smile you share.

*          *          * 
p.s. the barbershop guys of my college years became my dear friends. We shared family joys and sorrows, celebrated birthdays, exchanged Christmas presents, and many years later, I even invited them to my wedding. The way I see it, if we dare to open our hearts, we give strangers the chance to affect our worlds for the better. Guy and Rick did mine—two beautiful people I will have with me in my heart for the rest of my life. If you are out there Guy and Rick, I'm still waving!:)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

If you ache 
to fly 
but don't
make them!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Wish (14)

The rain splattered in gusts against the fragile glass. The wind howled, rushing through the branches of the walnut tree, the maple tree and the pines. It was black as night, outside as much as in, and there I sat, knees up under my chin in my little room, the one with the plush red carpet and the knotty pine walls. I couldn’t go to sleep. No way. And not because of the storm outside my window, for such intensity made it even more cozy to fall asleep in my nice warm childhood bed, but because I had a big day ahead of me. Soon a wish would be waiting for me.

This is 7
Behind Kelley's Lens via Flickr
I always tell birthday humbugs that they needn’t worry, that birthdays aren’t really about them or their age, that birthdays are instead about the rest of the world reminding them how loved they are. But that’s just for the birthday humbugs, not for me. You see, I’m a birthday lover myself. So much so, that even if no one wished me a single happy birthday for ten years in a row, I’d still love my birthday. And I bet you can guess why. Yep, because of the wish.

Ok, so maybe the symbolic wish happens when we blow out the candles on our cake, or the single candle on the cupcake, or in my case, the crowd trying to put out the raging fire. But then there are those years when some of you (definitely not me) don’t want a cake or even a pie. What then? Do you forfeit your wish? Absolutely not! You see, the wish is with you alllllll day, no matter what. It is patient and steadfast, ever present, ever willing, and always, always, always, like a genie in a bottle, ready to fulfill your desires. You can even chose your wish in the morning and then later on in the day add to it, or spice it up with a little sparkle and glitter here and there. That is, your birthday wish, once a year, is yours to dream into any shape you can imagine, any magic you desire.

My Wednesday (Birthday) Wish for You?

I started this blog to share the magic that gives my days sparkle, the magic that I feel in the very fibers of my being, the magic that I wish everyone could feel right along side me. And being here, with all of you, my dear readers who believe in this magic as much as I do, reminds me every day that the magic I experience is only a fraction of that which actually exists. The mystic, the heart and soul, the depth of our senses, the richness of our feelings, the wisdom of nature, the gift of childlike being, the joy of colors, of sounds, of rain on our windows and sun kissing our foreheads—its all right here in front of us, everyday, no matter who or where we are and always, for us to enjoy. Funny thing is, this magic in life we all know and love, is probably much grander, deeper, richer than most any of us realize. So why not spread it like seeds, let it fly free to show us how high it can soar? Who knows the places it could take us! That is why my Wednesday (birthday) wish is for you to share some magic with at least one other person this week, to pay the magic forward. Compliment a stranger, smile at a meanie, skip behind your shopping cart, listen to a flower, giggle in the produce department, buy the old lady next door a magazine, sing a happy song in the elevator, point out a soaring bird to a hardened heart, and most of all love. Love with a fierce heart and soul. And if I'm lucky, before long, my birthday wish will become yours, too. Just think how beautiful the world would be if we only just shared more magic with one another....every day.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wednesday Wish (13)

The first time I did it, I was ashamed of myself. The second time I did it, I realized how much I liked it. And after that, it just took a little bit of time before it became an almost regular part of my day. But let’s back up the truck, shall we?

It was a hot day, the air so thick with sea mist that the fan above my head seemed to cut it into juicy slices, each one falling, weighted, onto my shiny sun-kissed skin. I watched a gecko scramble up the side of the wall and behind a picture. A tiny spider hung from a bit of web in the corner. I’ll just lie down for a little bit. Not a second, really. More like a moment to just soak up this new world that is so different than what I am used to. After all, back home they are probably shivering beside a fire. The least I can do is enjoy this heat, right?

          A half hour later, there was a knock at my door. 
          “Brynne—you there?”
          I blinked my eyes open in disbelief. What? Had I fallen asleep? How embarrassing to answer the door with sleepy eyes and a wrinkled face. What will my new friends think of me? I splashed some water on my face and dashed for the door. “Coming!”
          “Did we wake you? Were you taking a nap?”
          “What, me? (nervous laughter) No, no. A nap? Oh no, I have far too many things to do. I was just— Here, come in...“
In most parts of the modern industrialized world, naps are reserved for toddlers and grandparents. Maybe the rest of us might take a lone nap after Thanksgiving dinner when our stomachs demand it, or on Christmas Day after all the dishes are done and everyone is busy with their new toys, but not on any old normal day, unless we are sick. Naps are lazy, unmotivated, directionless—all the things that go against the very fiber of modernity, capitalism, good business, even the noble idea of a hard working individual. Right?! 

Na, ah ah, she says with her finger shaking up high in the air. We got it all wrong. Speaking from experience (many years experience I might add), I can confidently say that what most of us think about naps is a bunch of hogwash. Naps are, in fact, a necessary nutrient for an imagination-rich life. They feed our brains, our spirits, our souls. They make us more effective, more aware, more alive. And not only that, naps are a luxury that all of us can afford, a simple magic that each and every human being of any age, deserves to enjoy. And often, too.

*          *          *
My Wednesday Wish for You?

To take a nap this week. At least one. And not for long. Maybe twenty to thirty minutes, time anyone can spare. I have a friend who used to bring a pillow to work and curl up whenever she needed it--in her case, under her desk. And she worked in a bank! So find your nap space anywhere you can, anywhere that feels right. Put your worries, your stresses, your deadlines and requirements on pause. Let go of what you think matters to escape for a minute into yourself and into your body, that vessel that houses your magnificent soul. Daydream if you must. But make an effort to rest that mind of yours. Soak up the air, feel your breath give life to your body, and enjoy your luxurious time out. For believe you me, when you find your right dose of nap, things seem to realign, to make better sense, and to somehow grow our days just a little bit more magic.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Interlude

For you, my friends who deserve to be in this film and who may need to be reminded of their magic this week more than ever: John, Debra, Kristin, Cal, Sara, Jo, Megan and Marcelo. And the rest of you, you know who you are.

Whatever you are doing with your one wild Monday...let it be filled with crazy-magic:)

with love for each of you, my treasured readers,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wednesday Wish (12)

Whenever a taste of delicious food finds its way to my tongue, I can’t help but close my eyes. And if its really good, sometimes I have been known to make little oooing sounds.
I think dresses should be labeled not by size, but by how well they twirl.
Whenever a new flower blooms in my garden, I ache to run out into the street, to share it with the first person who passes by. Sometimes I do.
Many times I get so excited to tell someone something that I grow a fire in my belly and my fingers start to tingle-itch until I get it out.
I love to clap. And not just at the end of songs, either. When things make me happy. And if you know me, you know there a lot of things that make me happy.
I love to giggle. And smile. And hug. And touch. And when I see something nice about someone, I tell them. 
Compliments are a best treat. Don’t you think?
Not everyone understands such things. I see the eyes. I feel the judgment. I notice the body language. Sometimes my childlike behavior makes grown-ups uncomfortable. Grown-ups. Hmmm. How did they get that way? Was there a manual that I didn’t get? Am I so oblivious to societal norms? Am I so conceited that I think I can be any way I like? You can’t do that, even if you feel it. It’s not appropriate, Brynne. Or have grown-ups forgotten their joy? Have they forgotten their spirit? Have they forfeited their magic for a title that robs them of their colors, highlighting instead, a few boring shades of grey?

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My Wednesday Wish for you?

To find that childlike part inside yourself and to honor it this week, to let it highlight the COLOR in your life. Giggle when it bubbles up inside you. Skip in public. Eat with your eyes closed and make that ooing sound, go ahead…do it…you know everyone else wants to, too! Clap when you are happy. Cry when you are sad. Nose rub a grocery store flower and invite the next person in line to share the beautiful scent with you, too. Tell a silly joke to stuffy people and laugh yourself silly even when (not if) they stare. (I do this often) And stomp in a puddle. At least once. Preferably with someone watching. If they smile, take them dancing. If they don’t, they are probably too grown-up, too grey. And they have probably forgotten their magic, too. For as Charles Fillmore once said… 'It is the childlike mind that finds the kingdom.' And last I checked, kingdoms are FILLED with magic.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wednesday Wish (11)

Three weeks ago, my little girl started preschool. She goes to a beautiful little Montessori in the middle of a shady patch of coconut palms and mimosa trees about a ten minute drive from our home. And best of all, she loves it. The last few days she's walked in the gate with her little monkey back pack on and she doesn't even look back to say goodbye to Mama. She just marches right in with a great big smile on her face, ready to start her new day! Oh joy!

The thing of it is, it’s a sensitive school. That means that they don’t want the children to feel anything negative about school, so they adjust the length of each child's day accordingly. More crying, less time at school. Less crying, more time at school. As of today, my little girl stays for one hour and fifteen minutes a day. That’s her up to the minute maximum. Translation: One hour and fifteen minutes is Mommy’s up to the minute maximum time to work on editing her novel.

So, every day until today, I decided to sit in my car just meters from the school and edit. Driving home just wasn’t worth it. And why waste the time driving anywhere else? Anyone can work on a novel, anywhere, right? Hmm…theoretically. But I wasn’t. I would read, or smile and wave at new faces as they walked by, watch cars, twitter back at birds, daydream, and maybe I’d try to work on my novel, but it never seemed to work. Until today that is, when I found a happier place to park.

What do you think? Would you want to write here? Ok, so after you took your shoes off and felt the sand and the sea welcome you home? Maybe then? Yep, me, too! That’s why I’ve christened it my newest heart space. And gosh, after only a day, my heart feels better already.

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My Wednesday Wish for you?

To take the time to find a heart space, a physical place that makes you happier than others. Maybe it’s a different coffee shop, the one that’s a little bit further away that has the nicer chairs. Or maybe it’s the park at the far end of town that has the nicer views with the bench that lets you sit near the rose garden. Or maybe it’s just a quiet part of your office building where no one goes, where you can see some big trees sway and shiver in the Autumn breeze. Make an effort to find it. And make it your own, your own sacred space that you will go to as often as you wish. You see, magic happens when we make an effort to find our physical heart spaces and especially when we go there often enough to let our hearts share what it is they have been aching to share with us all along.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Protect Your Magic

          “Did you remember the cupcakes?” said my best friend Jenny, twirling her braids and chewing her day old gum.
          “Yep,” I said, proud of myself for not accidentally-on-purpose forgetting and then gobbling them up like a belly-happy beast.
          “And what’d ye tell your mom?”
          “That we were looking for four leaf clovers. Same as I always do. What’d ye tell yours?” I kinda knew, but it was what we always asked each other. As if to be sure neither one of us had been forced to reveal even a smidgen of our secret.
          “Nothing much. Going outside to play. She isn’t like your mom. She’d probably make me stay inside if I told her we were hunting for—“
          “Shhh—someone might hear you!” One could never be too safe.
          “Thanks, that was close. Good thing your brother wasn’t around. He’d probably have me in a head lock by now. ‘Say it! Say it, Jenny, or I’ll rip it off….’” Jenny rubbed her neck, her eyebrows peaked over her bright brown eyes. “He’s a bully, that brother of yours.”
          “I know. Come on, though. Twilight is comin’ fast and you know we only have a little bit of time before dinner.”
          “Our dinner or theirs?”
          I giggled, “Ours, silly. Fairies don’t eat like us. They just nibble on forest treats all day long. And anyway, I’m sure they’ve been watching us for the past few minutes. Bet you my favorite purple pen that their stomachs are rumbling right about now. Once a fairy gets a whiff of these cupcakes, they won’t be able to focus on anything else.”
          “Ya,” said Jenny with a grin, “I bet you’re right. I know I can’t.”
          I giggled right back, “I love you, Jenny. And I love trying to find our real kin together. Not another person in the world I’d wanna do it with.” I reached for her hand and squeezed it good 'en hard.
          “You mean you wouldn’t wanna meet your first fairy holdin’ hands with Jon Foster instead?”
          I made a barfing noise and within seconds we were a  mess on the forest floor, me throwing leaves and Jenny huckin’ acorns, the two of us bursting at the seams.

*          *          *

Sometimes we come across a magic in our lives, either in our imagination or in our waking world, that changes everything—lightens our heavy. For some of us it’s an afternoon of fairy hunting with a wide-eyed imaginative little friend but it can also be as simple as an idea for a book, or a painting, or a new business. For others it might be a belly-flutter when someone walks by, or a lovely heart-pounding when a certain reminder happens upon our path. But no matter what it is, we must always—always—remember one important thing. We must protect those magics in our lives. We must keep them growing and even thriving. Like a fairy in the wood or a whisper in the breeze, magic can be elusive and if it is not treated with the utmost care, it can slip through our fingers, leaving us once again with a heavy load upon our backs. Protect your magic. Give your magic room to flourish. And share with others only when you no longer need to defend what you know to be true.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wednesday Wish (10)

We are all individuals, but individuals as a part of a whole. If we could step back far enough to see the dance we are each a part of, we might see something like this:

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My Wednesday Wish for You?

To remember that you are a vital part of this dance we call life, that even if you can't feel it, you are an integral part of the whole. Like a symphony, every instrument plays its part and is needed to make the song beautiful. Not only are you never alone, but you make this world of ours more beautiful by playing your tune. Your decisions, matter. Your actions, matter. Your direction in life, matters. You, matter. And when you honor who you are and the tune you were meant to play, you make this dance of life more beautiful for us all.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Prize is Life

Perhaps this spoke to my heart more than most because I love to write, but then again, we are all artists in our own way. Some of us may just have an easier time honoring that artist within. But regardless, as Alice Walker so beautifully says, 'the prize is life'. It's not something out there that the world gives us. It's something within. So let us all live our lives as fully, as richly, and with as much heartfelt emotion as we can. And if for no one else, then for ourSelves.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wednesday Wish (9)

Her perfect life fell apart, ending in divorce.
‘How unlucky’ they all said.
Maybe yes, maybe no.

Because she was alone, it was easier for her to follow her heart. 
Her heart took her to Mexico.
‘How lucky’ they all said.
Maybe yes, maybe no.

Because she left her good paying job in the US, she didn’t have the money to buy many of the things she used to enjoy.
‘How unlucky’ they all said.
Maybe yes, maybe no.

Because she had fewer things, life became a lot more simple.
‘How lucky’ they all said.
Maybe yes, maybe no.

Perception. We think with discerning minds but sometimes we forget that we can train our minds to perceive what we want them to perceive. Lucky or unlucky….we can be either one in any situation, but depending on what we chose to perceive, we usually end up feeling just one or the other.

*          *          *

My Wednesday Wish for you?

To chose lucky. Not when the world says you are lucky but right now, with whatever is going on in your life because you feel it. And if you don’t feel it, chose to feel it, make it so. Go ahead, say I'M LUCKY! Because you are lucky if you believe yourself to be. It’s as simple as that.
Lucky lucky
Mylina's photostream via Flickr

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just Me and My Sea

When the heavy of my days begins to weigh me down,
when the layers of gunk pile thick upon my skin,
when the hurry, the miscommunications, the forgetting and the remembering,
when the troubles and the worries and the sorrows and the pains,
when they reach that moment,
yes, you know it, too—
its time.

I reach for my bag, string my arms through its loops, slip my bare feet into my flip flops, and off I go.

What begins as cobblestone turns quickly to dirt. I rise up with the hill, turn a corner to pass a grove of mangoes and then, like a tunnel burrowing its way through a mountain, I enter the jungle. The air is rich, thick, heavy as steam. The glossy greens drip with moisture—ferns and philodendrons, coconut palms and strangler figs. Insects hum, a bird twitters its delicate, tropical tune, and if I am quiet enough, I can hear the breathing of the jungle itself. Soft and gentle, as regular as the tide, it breathes in and out with a deep-sleep innocence, with a careful, conscious peace all its own. My steps slow, my heart warms, even my knees loosen. How did I not know my knees were tight?

And just as my own consciousness begins to rise throughout my body like bubbles from the deep, I hear the distant crashing of the surf. A few more strides, just over the ridge, and there she is, the view with a gift—the scent of the sea.

My eyes soften, my lips smile, my body turns fluid even before I reach her shore. This is right, this is good, this is where I am meant to be. I drop my bag and leave my shoes and sundress in a heap upon the sand. They know I will return. I always do. But different. She comes back different, they like to say.

The water licks at my toes, teasing me, inviting me in to play. I slink in slowly, wanting to enjoy every second, every caress, every tender touch to my hungry body thick with heavy from the weight of my days. But soon, I have walked as far as I can; I am immersed, almost completely submerged, held with the soothing arms of the sea. I dive deep, my long hair tickling my back. It’s just me and my sea.

And afterward when the sun begins to set and my casita calls me home, my body emerges with a lighter step upon the sand. I don’t use my wings. I didn’t leave anything behind. I don’t even remember what it was that once worried me. But it was something, I am sure. Yes, something. I run my fingers up and down my sea happy skin. It’s clean and alive, shiny and smooth, and it breathes with a fresh, unhurried pace, a pace I now remember and reclaim as my own.

And as she looked down
with a clearer eye
and a wiser heart
she couldn't help but see
the butter
the butter
The Butter 
as it puddled at her feet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Wish (8)

In the north of Denmark, far from the biggest cities but not far from the sea, lies an enchanted place deep within the Rold Skov called Troll Forest. But Troll Forest is not enchanted for everyone. It has been said that those who go there to hunt for trolls will never find what they are looking for. You see, trolls do not let themselves be seen until they are sure the seeker is looking with a kind man’s heart.
It’s the same thing that happens to Robin Williams (grown up Peter Pan) when he tries to see the food the Lost Boys are eating in the movie Hook. There is nothing for him to eat until he stops the thinking and judging in his head and begins to ‘see’ with a softer part of himself, the same place imagination dwells.

*          *          *
My Wednesday Wish for you?

To find (and enjoy!) that happy, imaginative part deep within yourself, that part that makes you say ‘ahhh’ and sometimes even makes you want to cry because you are completely safe there, completely understood there, completely loved whenever you go there. And if you haven’t been there in a while? Then here, let me gently remind you how to find your way:

1.  Take that invisible hand of yours and with closed eyes, let it journey inside yourself to that place where you feel most safe, most understood, and most loved. It is soft and squishy in this place, like your favorite grandma used to be, and while it’s the same inside everyone, each person’s special place has its own particular flavor. Yours might have a color or a scent or even a real flavor that you taste with your tongue. Use your senses (not your thinking mind) to discover all the feelings of your own special place.

2.  Once you have introduced yourself to your special place inside, take a deep breath into that space letting the air you take in stay as long as it wants, slowly letting it seep out your nose when it feels ready. Do this three times, each time watching your body relax more and more into yourself and into this special place. Inhabit it, know it as your home.

3.  Next time you are in traffic, in your boss’s office, or at home with the kids screaming, the dogs barking, and with no idea what to cook for dinner, go to your special place. Recall those first sensory impressions, remember your feelings of safety and love, and when you are ready, breathe in, filling that space with air, with life once again. Leave your head, soften your mind’s eye, and watch the gentle magic of life reappear--trolls, imaginary treats, giggles and all!

*For more information about the Rold Skov, the enchanted Troll Forest in Denmark, please read my dear friend Ole Wolf's wonderfully brilliant post here. The photo of the Troll Forest above was also taken by Ole.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Presence of Magic Awards

Presence of Magic started as a way for me to share a perspective of the world, one that I wanted to continue to grow in my own life in a more public way. It has become something more than I ever envisioned and for the most part, I owe it to a few loyal and supportive people, fellow bloggers, who have been running alongside me, their shoes now as worn in as my own. So today, I’d like to introduce you to a few of the beautiful people who have helped transform Presence of Magic into something much greater than it could have ever been on its own. Please see what they are all about by clicking on their names which will take you to their blogs.

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Bella has a beautifully natural way of bring out the happy in any day, of making you feel like you are sitting right beside her, drinking something delicious and having a heart-to-heart with one of your dearest, most favorite, childhood friends.
Brenda’s gifts start at a soft and unassuming whisper but when you look away, when you close your computer screen, those whispers turn into nods and smiles and before you know it, the irresistible urges begin to play. Brenda has one of the deepest, most caring hearts on the planet and yet she never boasts or brags, but gently nudges you to see her findings, to enjoy her life’s treasures and yes, you will. You will.

Muriel feeds the European in me with a style and wit all her own. She is incredibly bright, eats up her surroundings in a single bite and somehow manages to write about it in a way that always makes me smile. Lovely and spirited, Muriel’s blog will never bore you and will always give you something to think about.

When I met Samantha she was the most encouraging, supportive writer in the blog-o-sphere that I had ever met. And still now, with a bestseller under her belt, she remains the same. Heart-centered, genuine, and so bright and filled with life, Samantha is the friend you meet mid-life that you feel you have known and loved your whole life.

Tracey is a mountain flower blooming in all her splendor even if no one ever dared see her. She walks quietly with a gentle step and yet her path is deep, no, its profound. Her world is colored with a richness, painted with a flavor, etched with a soul that spans lifetimes. I have clutched my heart many times while reading Tracey and every time I thank the heavens she has allowed us in.

Jo is one of my two most loyal supporters. She wades in deep even if she forgets her Wellingtons and every time, without fail, she is able to see something beautiful and to share her joy. Her loves are so varied and so genuinely felt that even things I would normally avoid, inevitably turn into treasures. With a heart as open as Jo's, I can do nothing less than thank her from my own.

Sara is the other of my two most loyal supporters. She twirls with me in the moonlight and giggles with me in my blanket forts. She and I, we tell secrets until late at night and when I have a nightmare, I wake her up to eat cookies. Her spirit is wide open and sparkling, her heart a bundle of joy and her blog is just as she is, pure magical delight. And did I tell you about her imagination…?

I thank you all from my heart and
with love and appreciation I present to you:
*The Presence of Magic Award*