Stick with the Magicians

I recently had a conversation with a friend about someone who has returned into her life from the past. She is angry with herself for allowing him to return. I asked her if she had learned anything new this time around and she had this aha moment over the phone. I could feel her wheels turning. I asked her if perhaps this person returning was to finalize the closure she needed…to see how much she’s grown emotionally and spiritually. When we revisit the past, with the same dramatic people (continuous actors who keep repeating same scenarios) we get to decide if we are learning or if we are settling?

You are not required to entertain every person who comes into your life, whether they are from the past or new! You get to decide if you want grief or magic. If you want love or despair. If you want peace or chaos.

I, for one, surround myself with magicians. Those days of allowing others who were dependent on me fixing them are over. I now attract the mystics, the creators, the lighthouses and the lovers of life.

The Miracle of Connections

Let me tell you…

About the power of connections.

I have been friends with a woman in Australia for several years. She’s a woman I admire immensely for her stories of survival. She stopped writing and her writings are phenomenal. A few months ago she just dropped off the face of social media. Which is not uncommon BUT she also wasn’t answering messages. It was unlike her. Months have passed.

Yesterday I posted a small message on Facebook about anyone being in that area of Australia. Several folks messaged me.

A woman I met last month in Peru on an Inca ruin hike reached out. She lives over an hour away.

Another woman I’ve never met but is a dear friend here on FB connected with me about helping.

First woman drove to her house. A total stranger. She didn’t hesitate. She Checked on my dear writer friend. Second woman made phone calls. She checked several places.

These are movers and shakers who shift the consciousness of our times. Seriously!!!

Darlings, just because we haven’t met we hold a major ass connection on here. You make my life richer. Each one of you is here to help others and in the process grow with connections. I get to witness some magical things.

These are the stories I tend to. These are the ones who change me and others.

Thank you to Amy and Moyalia for all you both did yesterday. My heart is smiling today knowing she’s okay.

Continue to show up, lovies. We are in this together. My heart overflows with the constant knowing that love is stronger than anything else out there. And the teachers keep appearing in my life to love louder…to love brighter. I love you.

Core Essence

This morning’s goodbye

tugged and pulled

like never before

as I tattooed a kiss

on your neck

inhaling your smell

while your eyes searched,



that place of home

no one else has before.

Twenty-five years of this

is wearing us down

to break the restrictions

we created for safety:

the not-falling-in-love clause;

the no-questions-asked rule;

the only-a-few-days-at-a-time mantra;

the take-in-for-what-it-is precious moments.

This week was different

and you asked;

I replied.

You went there;

I returned holding your hand.

I expect nothing;

you anticipate even less.


somewhere in the in-between

the words

“I will miss you”

echoed from both our lips

and that’s

worth a priceless fortune

to the essence of

our soul union

in this new era….

The Experiment of Time


experiment of time

Some years are pretty uneventful with life changes. You go through the daily routines, family issues, keeping the same jobs, everyone is healthy, same friends, and life is pleasantly stable. But, there are some years that come in like a massive tornado storming through everything and twisting your life around. This year has been such a year. Truth be told, the past two years have changed everything in me…drastically.

In a year’s time I’ve lost loved ones to misunderstandings and family gossip/issues. I’ve cleared up my friends’ list and stuck with deleting those who didn’t really show me the utmost love and respect. I got married, still in the process of finalizing the adoption of my granddaughter, closed down a business that was running for over 5 years, moved to a sweet mountain cottage, returned to work for others after having had my own businesses for over 20 years, began writing professionally as well, and awakened to many different possibilities that continue to appear every day. I have seen dearest of friends endure difficult life transformations; my children make painful choices; dealt with major stresses involving mental illness and destruction in loved ones; and realized how much I have enabled many around me with my mother-hen personality. Things have changed with all the awareness. A year has brought me closer to many whom I wouldn’t have been closed to before. I have met amazing souls.  Most importantly I have made peace with me. I’ve forgiven myself for a lifetime of self-deceit. I have had to really take a look at how I participated in all those experiences. This has been an experiment of time and how reality has been molded by my awareness. I had to be honest with my spirit and sometimes that’s not a pretty sight.

I have had several other things happen this year: personal ones that have deepened my faith, spirituality and belief system. I have entered into the wise years of midlife with some acceptance that I KNOW NOTHING of what I was able to articulate for most of my life. I know zero…zip…nada!  I’m okay with that. It’s actually quite perfect. I am learning to keep my mouth shut to those around me of things I feel, but my ears opened to the things I can share. In essence, I have molded my higher wisdom with my sarcastic soul. I am no longer afraid to reach out to a friend or stranger to give a message from a loved one who has passed on. I don’t shun my gifts like I used to.  But, in spite of all these amazing awareness, my heart has been broken beyond words, betrayed, healed and enlarged because of such acceptance, conviction and awareness. This has been a year of transformations.

I am empowered by a few things: the surrendering of pain, the consenting of change, and the reward of letting go. It isn’t easy! I am still very human and learning is a constant complex forte. I think if anything the lessons have continued to show themselves about letting go, but I am consciously aware of them. I continue to be selfish with my time, even now that it seems to move quicker with a little one in tow, and the solitary moments of having Divinity visit every morning. I require time alone to feel the union of nature, divinity, and my spirit. I am trying to find balance where there seems to be a disproportion. But, it is all a matter of perception. I have always wanted this moment and this life. I feel gratitude embracing me when I step back to realize I have received everything I’ve manifested in my dreams.

A year in a life can make a huge impact. Anniversaries of hurt and betrayal stay for a while. The year is over. The mourning has subsided. I have so much more to enjoy ahead of this journey. All hours work with the days whether we accept them or not. Each day works beautifully within the weeks. Each week flatters the consecutive junction of months. And, each month gathers in triumph as the sum of a year. It is nothing in the scope of reality. Everything is an illusion of how we choose to live our lives. Every lesson this year has been inspired with surrendering, love, compassion and most of all connection of self and spirit. The greatest exercise has been in loving the tenderness of time. Holding my two year old and feeling her joy, sadness, love, and spirit has been the icing on the cake this year. Writing and expressing myself has been the most powerful awakening experience. What better way to begin a new chapter?  May your painful endings connect to wonderful new beginnings…always!

We need tribes in our lives


There is an urgency for connection with each other. These are not easy times.  We are on the edge of greatness and chaos. It’s up to us to change how the journey will end.  We are the present and the future. There are folks losing their jobs, their homes, and families. There are others sitting alone in a hospital room watching a loved one fight for their lives. While some others are in the petty claws of political and religious arguments on social media…life is happening out there. Life is happening in here. Life is a series of ongoing movements and motions reminding us that we get to pick the perception and reaction. I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t know why anything happens. I would like to believe it’s for the evolution of our higher self. I would like to believe it’s part of a larger design. Who truly knows at this point? I have to be led by faith and that onset programming of a higher body of spirit guiding me. 

What I do know is that we need one another. We need tribes of people who raise and join us in our causes and dreams. We need love. We need to know that we aren’t alone in the path of obstacles and challenges. We need to get out of our own head space and truly feel the vibration of another who is part of the overall mass consciousness shifting for a better world. People enter your life for various reasons. They might not stay forever. They might just be passing by. But, their presence exists for a reason. Sometimes they appear to mirror the things you need to work on, and other times to enhance your greatness. When we hurt, we end up hurting another and vice versa. We are not perfect and tribes help us see this truth.

We are made to run in packs like wolves while watching each others’ backs. We need tribes and warriors in our lives to bare our vulnerability, hurts, and passions. We need to gather in moments of weakness and pain. We have to rejoice in moments of joy and love. When one person is in danger of overexposure and breakdowns we need someone to hold us up. If you don’t have this then you need to find your tribe because you aren’t meant to be alone carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We are all connected in this place by a thread of humanity through love. Do not let ego tell you that you do not need anyone. It’s magnificent to feel the sense of unity even from thousands of miles away. And, yes, it’s heartbreaking when the tribe challenges and changes over time. It feels like you won’t find another. You will. We are always learning who we are through the revolving door of people and relationships.

Those who say, “I don’t need anyone. I am okay alone. Having friends requires too much work.” These folks put up a wall around them and then wonder why they are unhappy, why they aren’t given intimate attention, and why they can’t connect? You will always get what you desire…especially if it’s negative. Whenever I hear these statements I am truly happy and sad for that person. I am happy that they feel content, but I am sad that they are missing out in the beauty of having others support and love them. We are the sum of our experiences. We are legends because of each triumph, failure, obstacle, success and connections with one another. We are not meant to be alone in our grief or losses. We hold communities, families and the world with connection. Humanity wants to be heard. We require the sharing of stories, the acknowledgment for our lives, and love without judgment through listening. This is who we are. There’s an urgency to be accepted, approved, and recognized. There’s an ache to be understood in a time that things are misinterpreted through the greatness of technology.

Hold a friend’s hand in need. Hug your lover as if it was the last time. Kiss those kids tightly. Smile at a stranger. Open doors for an elderly person. Compliment a cashier. Delete the toxic folks out of your life. If they don’t raise you then they have taught you something. It’s time to move on. You will hurt, break and then reconnect with those parts of yourself and others that need more growth. Use your energy wisely. Get out of your head and lovingly give to another who needs to feel that the illusion of loneliness is not drowning their existence. It matters. It all matters to that one human who is struggling with life. Stop the craziness of self doubt and anxiety because there is no way you leave this life alive. Find your tribe and be grateful for them. When we share among others we see that we are not alone in our stories. Everyone is experiencing something similar. Stopping ourselves from reaching out (because of fear, shame, and embarrassment) is an injustice to our spirits. Loneliness, sadness, despair, and so much more are compositions to our journeys but we can still reach out with our love and feel the comfort of another holding us up. We need strong tribes to keep moving through life. You are not alone unless you consciously choose to be. Open your heart…your tribe is waiting for you!

To find our tribe means finding people we can learn from, people who are better at some things than we are, people who have something to teach. We say we want it, but how many of us fear being a beginner more than loneliness and much more than being in the wrong crowd? There is a strange comfort, a sense of safety, to suffering and loneliness. To be happy, to find our family, we must be willing to let that go.” ~Vironika Tugaleva

Simplicity in All

Sometimes you find that one soul who shows you a piece of yourself you did not know was even there.  This person can come in for a moment but the impact can last a lifetime.  At times their entrance into your life needs no words, just a glance, a gesture, or a slight touch.  Just having them come into your existence is enough to make you realize what happiness really is inside.  Life is all about the simplicities and the grace of our unions.

I can recall moments of people who have appeared as angels into my space when I wasn’t having a good day.  This has been in a check-out line, at a red light, on an isle in a store, passing by in a park, trekking up a mountain hike, or just entering our place to look at the pond.  The energy in their eyes or in their silence has spoken volumes.  These lapses in time make me aware of our interconnection with each other.  We are all small threads weaving in and out of a giant quilt.  We are all different colors, textures, and composition.  Each interweaving in the fabric allows a degree of separation, but we are all connected by the giant cloth of Divinity.

I was at a store in Downtown Asheville this morning.  I needed to get down from the mountain, be with civilization, get my Starbucks chai latte, and buy some candles (which is one of my favorite vices).  While in the isle an older woman walked by, saw the array of colors and smells in the cart, looked up at me and gave me the biggest smile, while raising her eyebrows.  I had ten different sizes and colors lined up by smells.  In that moment we laughed when she exchanged a look like, “Girl, are you expecting a power outage?”  In our silence, with huge smiles, we had a connection.  She went on to another isle. I continued my smelling routine of checking every autumn candle on sale.  As I was paying I saw she went back to the candles and picked some of the same ones that I got.  It took one moment, a few seconds, to see how happy those fragrant candles made me.  I am always giddy when I get anything with comforting smells for the house.  Happiness is contagious.  Her presence filled me with joy, and I hope that in my excitement she also filled with the indulgence of delight.

We tend to constantly hold our breaths when we are running around doing errands.  Unfortunately, we are so involved in our own minds that we forget to notice the existence of another in our realm.  With technology at our fingertips we tend to interact with the gadgets easier than with a live person.  It is impossible to know when that one angel or person will enter our space.  I bet that if you think back you can truly remember many times when a child smiled at you from a shopping cart at a store.  Their laughter was so contagious that you found yourself laughing back.  And, those seconds are precious.  They are magical.  Whether it is from a handsome man, an elderly woman, or a child, the energy exchanged is God-like at its simplest form.  Never take these moments of sheer joy for granted.  They remind us that life is sweet, kind, and beautiful.  Just like my candles, let the simplicity light up your day.

Much love and light to all!

Confessions of a Chocoholic


Pleasure is underrated. I have a pretty good life. I live in the most spectacular place of the Appalachians. We own a wonderful retreat center. We get to indulge in nature as much as we can. But sometimes, we try deeply to avoid simple pleasure due to an unjust sense of responsibility. I love watching children dive into their desires. They can get into a piece of chocolate cake with such immense guiltless pleasure and a part of me envies that relentless behavior. When did we forget to indulge as adults? When was the last time that the diet went out the door, play took over, and food once again became an aphrodisiac. Chocolate: scrumptious, devouring, yummilicious…ahhhhhh! Is there anything more enticing and primitive as the tongue unraveling a great piece of excess cocoa, twirling in pure ecstasy begging for more?

Yesterday my best friend and I took a short drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway. It started out beautiful but the weather soon turn into fog and rain. We turned around with coolness impregnated on our skin from the open convertible. She said she wanted chocolate. She had been watching the movie Chocolat  for a few nights. After some silence and a subconscious suggestion (I am so easily influenced that it is sickening at times) I answered, “Let’s go get chocolate in downtown Asheville. Let’s go to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.” Like two insane hungry Thelma and Louise we found ourselves inside the cafe.

We ordered two hot chocolates with lavender and honey. We shared a carrot cake for breakfast and a chocolate cake called Quitessential for lunch all in one sitting. The experience was exquisite and sublime. I remember a line from the movie Chocolat, “I could do with a bit more excess. From now on I’m going to be immoderate—and volatile—I shall enjoy loud music and lurid poetry. I shall be rampant.” I might add I shall be free to do whatever I please while eating guiltless amount of real chocolate…!

Each mouthful was a chattering divulging ecstatic experience. The explosion of bitterness, softness, and sweetness all in one mouthful was overwhelming. I sat in front of my friend, fork dancing in the air, eyes shut as if conducting an orchestra mesmerized by the essences of all the senses combined with the drink. If I was to pick a moment to die…well that would have been the perfect exit to my life. That would have said something valid about love and chocolate. It was that divine. All their desserts are organic and one munches with the belief that it’s good for you because it is. How can something that Godly be anything but divine!

What can we celebrate in life if not the simple taste of living to the fullest, through food, drinking, loving and sharing? From the moment we embark in this journey we are surrounded by excess and limit ourselves on a daily basis. Walking into that lounge, the smell of confection, sugarplum, frosting, lavender, and childhood memories recollect of a chubby kid on her tip toes pointing to the glass of bonbons allows anyone in a moment to fall in love with chocolate all over again. Doesn’t chocolate fix just about anything? As Charles M. Schulz says, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Once we were done I walked out intoxicated. I was in such a sugar high that I had to stop and compose myself laughing at the gratification of the moment. I sat in the car in divine light telling myself that the dessert was the best pleasure I had experience in a long time. My friend, laughing in her own mystical moment of extraction, rejoiced in the decision of breakfast and lunch in one sitting. Everything looked sweeter and joyful on the way home. Our hearts and tummies were full of mischievous actions like children who got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. “Your hand and your mouth agreed many years ago that, as far as chocolate is concerned, there is no need to involve your brain.”~ Dave Barry

If you are ever in Asheville I urge you to visit the French Broad Chocolate Lounge on Lexington. Indulge for a few moments. You won’t regret it.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

the path

The other day my boyfriend and I stopped in the closest gas station to buy a drink.  I introduced him to the owner by saying, “This is my boyfriend….”  The sweet gentleman looked a little confused but I didn’t make much of it.  He’s a kind man and throughout the years we’ve exchanged pleasantries.

Three days later I went in to pay for gas.  The owner complimented me on how good I was looking.  I must’ve made some puzzled face since I had no makeup, was wearing an old t-shirt, shorts and beat-up sneakers.  He looked, smiled and said again, “You do!  You are looking great.”  His tone went up with his wide-mouth smiled.

I got in the car and in my confused state realized that in three years this man had never given me a compliment.  It then dawned on me that like many others in this small town, he thought that my best friend and business partner is my “partner.”  Buying a business with your “best friend” seems to be the hidden clue to “she’s my lover.”  For over three years we laugh about it.  The stigma and stereotype has been beneficial.  No one has bothered with us.  Even many of our guests come and go and really have no clue.  This woman, my BFF, is the most amazing person in my life. We’ve been through deaths, relationship separations, my children leaving home, illnesses, financial strains, and whatever life has thrown at us.  When someone asks me about her I tell them, “You gotta meet her.  She’s my Oprah.  She’s the wisest woman you’ll ever meet.”  I guess comments like that must intrigue others.  You couldn’t possibly be friends without sex with someone.

The truth is I don’t care what people think of my relationship with Bobbie.  What I find a little daunting is that when those same folks come to the realization that I am not gay they start treating us differently.  I do have an issue with that!  If you can’t accept me regardless of my sexual preference then you have little business being part of my life.  I have many homosexual friends.  I don’t care who or what they do with their significant others.  Love is love. I adore them all.  I want pure joy, love and laughter for them always.

We don’t go around pointing fingers and saying, “Uhhhh, he’s a heterosexual man.”  Just like politics and religion, I don’t get involved in the bigotry or intolerance of the whole sexual-gender-choice issue.  I have a son who is gay.  I don’t care who he falls in love with any more than my other straight sons.  I want them all to be happy.   Some of my same-sex friends have been in longer relationships with their significant others than my straight ones.

Matt, my highly intellectual boyfriend, said, “Babe, this is just like the issue with bi-racial relationships fifty years ago.  In fifty years it will be something else.”  He’s right.  I know this but it still disturbs me that before you choose to decide if I am worth knowing your perception of who I would sleep with determines if I am a good person or not.

I love my BFF more than anything.  She’s my sister, confidant, and therapist.  I hold hands with her.  I hug her. I laugh till we are silly on the ground.  My life is stupendously enriched because she is my soul mate.  If people choose to decide that our hippy asses are gay then let it be the truth.  We are gay, full of joy and wonder, and proud to be living a life of laughter.

California Dreams

I am sitting in front of my fireplace this morning.  It is a chilly 30 degrees outside.  I am cold and realizing this is going to be a freaking ridiculous winter.  The greatest part of this insane season is that in a few days I am taking a road trip with two of my closest friends.  We are leaving the mountains of Western North Carolina and heading to California to travel the Pacific Coast all the way to Portland.  This is a celebration for my best friend and business partner, Bobbie’s 40th birthday.  It is also the first time since we bought this business that we will both be gone together for so many days.  My teenage children will be here with neighbors so mama can truly play.  As the day gets closer I feel that giddiness that enters my blood stream when I am about to take a trip.  I just can’t wait!

Traveling is a sport.  I am not a good athlete but I consider myself an enthusiastic adventurist without an agenda to my travels.  We are embarking without a map, tourist guide, and a timeline.  We only have the final destination point.  There is something wonderful in having no perspective to an arrival, or expectation to the excursion.  I love to travel.  I was made for it.  As much as I love my place in the mountains I also fantasize about seeing the world.  This trip is something of a monumental turning point for the three of us.  We have entered and exited many issues in the past few months with personal obstacles.  We have purged, healed, released and traveled down many roads inside of ourselves.  The adventure is welcomed with open minds and extended hearts.  I am traveling with like-minded people: no planning or agendas.  The only thing we know is that we arrive in San Diego and we are renting a car.  The rest is up to serendipity.  Ahhh…to think of the surprises along the way!  Bring them on!!!!

I will not have access to a computer but I’ve purchased a new journal where I hope to be inspired to document this expedition.  I feel like a little girl waiting at the entrance to Disney World minutes before the gates open.  I am sure the night before we leave I won’t sleep as I think about all the possibilities that will transpire on this journey.  I live for amazing surprises.  They are right up there with laughter.  The Pacific Coast has always been a magnet with its gorgeous coast lines and mountains.  Witnessing such beauty will be mind-boggling.  I know how excited I can get.  Adjectives will be constantly flying out of my mouth describing all the moments and how I feel.  My dear friends will have to just deal with the little girl in me and might have to tell me to chill out every so often!

Have a wonderful two weeks, dear friends.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving!  Stay warm and cozy wherever you are.  I will be back to share.  I may be able to read your writings and daily blogs from my phone.  It is always wonderful to be inspired by y’all.  Much love and light…Millie.

Lack of Interactions


On December 22 of this past year a beautiful long hair Calico cat showed up at our door. She was very thin. Even though we had decided that we would have no more pets, especially cats since I am allergic, this fury creature changed the entire idea. My daughter fed her and she kept coming back. The cold winter air forced me to bring her indoors, “for just one night and then she needs to go!” I was not going to have a litter box or any smell of a cat in my house. No, no, no. Just one night and that’s it! Needless to say, you know where the story ends. The cat now has two names and neither is her official “real” name. She has become the mascot of Peaceful Quest Retreats.

The thing about cats is that they don’t listen. They look at you when you are speaking to them in annoyance. As friendly as Mystic or Fluffy (depending on who is calling her) is she still has the demeanor of most people nowadays. The look in her eyes says, “I hear the words that are yapping out of your mouth but I can’t be bothered right now while I am trying to take a nap or in the middle of my bath.”

Listening is so important. We all talk, talk, gab, blah, blah…but, how many of us actually sit and truly listen? There’s a difference between hearing and listening. The cat hears but she has no interest in listening. I am finding fewer and less people in my life who actually listen. I’m usually shocked when someone repeats words that I’ve said back to me. No wonder we pay therapists to be heard. At least for one hour we get acknowledged for our existence.

I have a friend whom I’ve known for over 25 years. He’s a man of few words and whenever we talk I enjoy listening to him. He is one of the few people I’ve ever met who can listen and be present in the conversation. Sometimes he will remind me of something I said years ago and I am always surprised at the details because they are about insignificant things. You know, like how I like my B.L.T. or what my favorite smell is after the rain, or what my favorite show was in the 90’s. Just useless information! And, if he can listen to my useless information then I know he listens to the important stuff as well. I am often cautious of things I will say because they are banked in his memory and when I least expect it they will be returned back to me.

I am present when someone is talking. I do have days that I am hearing and not retrieving the information, but it is rare. I want to be heard, comprehended, and acknowledge in the presence of another. I am not a cat and don’t expect the person who I am conversing with to be one either. My best friend, Bobbie, and I sit for hours just talking. It is a gift to share and be heard from the most insignificant thing to life changing events. There’s nothing more beautiful than being seen and acknowledge for our existence. I know this is rare and I don’t take it for granted.

With the advancement in technology people are becoming less and less connected to each other unless they are emailing, texting, twittering, FaceBooking, or whatever else is out there that requires no eye contact. Listening is becoming an ancient art. I suspect that one day we will be like my cat, giving a blank and annoying stare of interruption. I watch this behavior with the younger generations and can’t believe that they just don’t interact the way we did when we were teenagers. Are we really this disconnected from each other that we cannot hold a conversation with anyone around us? What happened to us, as a whole in society that we can’t consciously look at someone and speak with them? We are constantly being bombarded by the external parts of technology. Are we really governed by the rush of being constantly charged by cell phones, emails, computers, IPOD’s and any gadget that is supposed to make our lives easier, when in reality they handicap our social skills? Life was simpler twenty years ago. We were human beings interacting with each other. When we sat to talk there was a presence to the visit. We listened attentively, to gossip, stories, and useless information. It didn’t matter what it was, we were sitting with each other listening.

I pray that society changes its course. The path I am observing seems so detached and disconnected. The simple things in life as interconnecting, sharing and “shooting the breeze” with each other will soon be historical. Our children’s children will watch movies about this and will never understand what joy there is in looking at another human being while listening. Society will become more like cats, minding their own business, and only paying attention when they feel like it, otherwise use technology to relate the simplest message. The beauty of human interaction will probably be a study for social anthropologists.