Open Heart

And there…in the school parking lot I broke. The flood gates opened. I sobbed. I was overcome by grief and anger like I hadn’t in a long time. Frustration hit my core and I felt my heart being pulled in every direction. For hours, since early morning, I had been fighting a migraine. I rarely get them. I had taken plenty of Tylenol but it had been nagging and I knew there was an underlined monster coming to visit. There, in an empty church lot, about to drop my kiddo at daycare, I allowed it all to come undone. 

Her silence broke eventually. “What’s wrong, Mama?”

“I’m sad and angry!” I said softly in between deep inhales and exhales.

“For my baby brother?”

“Part of it. Other parts too!” I kept seeing flashes of my daughter, Kali’s mother, doing what she’s not suppose to do. The anger kept pushing through and I stopped myself from it all until I could get Kali in school and I could leave. 

“I’m sorry, Mama. It’s gonna be okay!” She said from her car seat.  I got out, unbuckled her, and she gave me a giant tight hug. I stood there, her legs wrapped around my torso, holding my daughter’s daughter. Holding a precious gift she gave me and another one about to arrive into our arms. There, I stood holding my lifeline and hers while she kissed my cheeks. My heart grew wider. This parenting business is not easy…ever. 

“I’m gonna be okay, Kali Bug. I am having a bad morning. That’s all.” I looked at her. Her own eyes filled with tears. She feels hard. She knows beyond her years. But, she doesn’t really know the sorrow of her past, or how her birth mother is mentally ill and has intellectual disabilities; how I adopted her mother from a Romanian orphanage at the age of 9; how her mother won’t rationalize or understand the trail of damage she keeps leaving behind. She gives birth to a third child this week. She turns 28 on Friday. Kali doesn’t know of any other mama. She only sees me. She only understands our love…and that she has a new baby brother arriving soon. She doesn’t ask where he’s from. She doesn’t care. 

She only knows love. Her life is fully integrated with it. We make sure of it…every single day.

“I know, Mama. You always okay.” She gave me a thumb’s up. I dropped her and she waited by the glass door until I threw kisses before getting in the car. We do this every single morning. She counts to see how fast I am until I get out to the car and then I throw kisses with my hands and she catches them from inside. Today I threw my heart at her…and she caught in for safe landing. And, that’s all I needed her to do.


The outside of your door

still smells like you,

as I hold the knob

and then let go…

I cannot go into your space

just yet.

I cannot clean or visit

the things you left behind

in turmoil,


and pandemonium.

This still seems surreal —

a bad nightmare

full of confusion

as it took me by surprise

even when I foresaw the outcome

so very long ago.

You are gone

to a place I cannot reach for a while.


here behind the door

sits your life

the way you left it

and it’s okay to allow

the memory cells

to reside there.

Time has a way of moving

even the static

that was left between us both.

You will always have

the love

that you rejected

as a safety net

to return to the four walls

behind this small entrance.

You Deserve Respect


I have a family member who loves to call me and gossip about people I don’t even know. Whenever I don’t answer the phone, because I am at work or busy with life, she leaves me these long nasty messages that sound like someone in an insane asylum. Most of the time, when I do speak with her, I let her go on her one-sided conversation. There have been times that I just want to say, “Hold please! Let me buckle up as we are about to get on the bipolar expressway.” I sit there with the phone glued to my ear listening to ramblings that create a sense of anxiety for me….until recently when I stopped all communication.

Let’s be f*cking honest here! If someone is not raising your vibes to a loving and healthy standard, they really don’t need to be entertained. You can, amicably, speak with them. You can be gracious in loving them from a distance, but by no means do you need to own their toxic energy because no matter how hard you try to break their cycle of negativity it isn’t going to happen. I am reminded that you have no say in what another person is thinking or feeling. They have to figure that out on their own.

We are so ingrained to HAVE to be part of everyone’s life when it comes to family. But, you don’t. You can sit with that person and truly entertain them to the best of your ability and they still will not see the goodness or the help you are providing. And, this isn’t about being acknowledged. This is merely about being respected for your worth. There will always be naysayers, victims, master manipulators and martyrs. Archetypes are there for a reason. We get to choose how we act and react to their stories.

In my case, with this particular family member, I had to just write a letter after her last voice mail (about me going to hell for not calling her back) that basically pinpointed that I would not tolerate the disrespect any longer. If she couldn’t be in my life with love and support then it was better that she wasn’t. End of conversation.

Sometimes we come across folks who need to be heard. I am great with that. Now, when the same conversation keeps coming up over and over and they want you to drop everything to listen, you have be honest with them and yourself. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. I am not a saint and my patience gets in the way of being generous with my time when it isn’t reciprocated.

I have been in the middle of conversations when I have said something lighthearted and it has been offensive to another. I get told off. I have to step back and say, “Oh, okay! So this is where we are going with this. Yay. I am ready for the ride. Let’s get on the f*cking wagon of self-hatred, criticism and self-pity.” I have to be careful to keep my facial expressions in tact cause I might say nothing but my face has its own language.

You don’t have to partake in every argument, judgment, and decision another human has…even when they are your grown children, parents, siblings, family or friends. You don’t have to sit and agree. “No!” is a complete sentence. And, there are many other ways of deviating from the drama. The moment you get sucked into negativity and toxic forums you are dedicated to make a decision to stay or leave. You get to decide.

Many years ago I had a spiritual mother/friend who was in the hospital having hip surgery. I happened to call at a moment that a nurse was checking on her and they were getting her out of bed. The hospital phone rang and I believe the nurse thought she would pass it to my friend. Her response before even seeing who was on the line was, “Just because it rings, doesn’t mean you have to pick it up.” Until that very moment it never occurred to me in my 30’s that if the phone rang I could just ignore it; that if the doorbell rang I did not have to answer; or if someone expected me to do something that I could say “no!” I was programmed to be overly responsible and that moment taught me that you have a choice in everything. She didn’t even know it was me and made the nurse hang up. It was a lesson about what is important and what isn’t. You don’t have to answer every single piece of nonsense out there. You are not responsible for listening to bullshit that has nothing to do with you. And, even if it was about you, and you aren’t in accordance with the criticism, you can always thank that person and walk away, hang up or let them know that you are to be respected. Arrogance and intolerance are characteristics that when fed grow into monsters.

Start to put yourself first. Respect your time, space and energy. When you do this those folks have no way to get to you. You can act and react however you want. The bullies and narcissist will disappear when they know that they can’t manipulate you. You aren’t going to fix the world unless you put yourself on the highest level of self-respect. You are worth so much and if you can’t see it they can’t either.

We absorb our surroundings. We are constantly being bombarded with crap from others. It’s your choice to stop the madness. You get to decide what and how you participate in this world. Shift your perception and recognize that the lessons come from people who rub us the most intense way through feelings. Learn from them about what and who you are…but don’t own their shit.  Forgive what you cannot change since you have a hard time letting go.

It’s not selfish to love yourself and demand respect. You are not anyone’s punching bag. You are required to stand and provide self-love. That’s compassionate. That’s kindness.

Sending love out to all!

Gratitude for our gifts

homeless cart

Yesterday I met a homeless woman outside of Starbucks (lots of wonderful things always happen to me outside of these coffee shops). She had a supermarket cart with all her belongings near downtown Asheville. I stopped and asked if she wanted a cup of coffee as she was pushing that sucker on the sidewalk. She was sweet and said, “No thank you. I’m good!” I asked her another question just to stop her from moving. “Are you heading to a shelter?” She answered, “I spent the night in one. I am heading to the park. I like to feed the squirrels.” She was a jolly heavy woman probably in her sixties. For a moment her matted gray hair looked like a bird’s nest on her head but I looked closer and saw the most beautiful pins and clips holding it together. I complimented her on them. She began to take one off to give to me. I told her that I couldn’t put anything in my short hair. “Thank you.” I asked if I could give her a hug and she happily extended her arms out so I could move in them. I wished her a nice day. She went off pushing her tiny home up the hill leaving me with such love and joy for her sweetness.

Here is the thing that touches me about someone who has nothing: they are willing to give a part of their nothingness. She was willing to give me a part of her life to make ME HAPPY. She wanted me to feel joy with those clips. I see a lot of this in homeless and mentally ill folks. I see a lot of these selfless acts in those who are used to having little or nothing at all.

SO…when you are moving through this season with the stress of giving or not giving; of having or not having; please realize you have more than you need. It takes nothing to be kind. It takes even less to make someone’s day with a smile, a small chit chat, and a sweet word. These are the folks that teach us how to truly be grateful for those things we think are important. They bring us back to humanity. The world is made of such acts. We forget that we don’t need much to give to another. Heck…just a dollar in coins is sufficient. Carry around granola bars in your car and hand them to the homeless begging on corners…they love them. And if you can’t afford that…then a hug will be just what another needs. Happy holidays, dear friends! May you find the true meaning of a generous heart in a stranger today!

Love and Forgive


I have a daughter who is 27 years old.  She arrived into my life at almost 12 years of age from Romania.  She was set in her ways, a blank canvas to me since there was a huge language barrier between us.  She arrived into a home and family that lived by structure.  She had no choice but to adhere to the public school system and all the rules in school and at home.  But what happens to someone who is entering puberty and has a life changing event?  What happens to the past and where do you place it?  How does one “fit” into this new atmosphere, geography and ethnicity?  How many secrets condemn you and break your trust in others?  When she was 18 she was going to harm me and her siblings and I had to institutionalize her.  Those weeks (and what followed) nine years ago were one of the most difficult ones of my stories.  She and I have never been the same.  Even though she was in the hospital for 3 weeks it wasn’t enough.  She stopped taking the medicine and never received further help for her disorders.

We rarely communicate but not a day goes by that I don’t pray for her, send her love and ask God to give her guidance for her and her children.  A troubled fragmented mind can’t see things for what they were.  She has felt betrayed and unloved.  She has felt her siblings pushed her away.  I can’t speak for them but I know that when you have played with the Devil it’s hard to get back to Divine normalcy and accept someone who is still living in that playground.  They speak of her as if it was a horror film as they share stories of events, multiple personalities, and Devil worshipping.  I explain and ask them to let it go.  They all have their own thought processing.  They all have their reasons for holding on to the dangerous moments of the past.  In time I hope they make peace with it all.

How does one move on through life’s events when the faith in humanity gets tested?  I believe through love, forgiveness and letting go.  I have reached out to her on several occasions and have been returned with a reminder to not enter that space of having her near me. “She is dangerous!” I hear this constantly in my spirit.  “Wherever she is at continue to send her light and love.”  And, I hear it loud and clear.  But as a mother, thoughts come and go because I want to help her as any mother would. This is our job to protect the ones we love but we cannot take on the world with someone who is not willing to receive the help. She refuses to see a professional or get assistance of any kind.  She has no idea she’s mentally ill.  She can’t see it and won’t receive any help unless it is money.   She lives in an inconceivable amount of darkness that my light cannot reach.   And unfortunately she attracts those like her as well.

I rarely share the stories of my children.  They are my chapters filled with pages of love, lessons, and experiences.  They have gone through childhood, puberty, adolescence, and adulthood.  My children are precious, every single one of them.  And, for whatever reason my soul attracts the fractured, hurt and destitute.  Now years later I understand that of all my children she was the one who taught me about faith.  There were nights that the heavy energy in my house was so dense that all I could do was sit on the floor in the dark and pray.  I worried about my other children, I worried about myself, and I worried about things most people don’t ever have to think about.  We were exposed to spiritual warfare on a daily basis.  Where there is light there is also darkness trying to extinguish it.  In those days I would walk around with a Bible and she would mumble laughing that “it wasn’t going to save me.”

But, just like that things come to head and we are all asked to love and forgive.  We are asked to feel compassion for the ones who have not seen light, and those who entertain the darkest forces possible.  I witnessed dark and light every day and it helped me open up to the many realms around us.  My heart learned to love even deeper because of her.  My soul learned to forgive even faster because of her as well.  She was the epitome of opposites in a house full with gifts of love.  She rejected love, grace, God and compassion.

Remember that when you love it is for you.  You love because it feels like you are part of the world.  You forgive for you as well.  You feel the weight of darkness being removed.  We choose our thoughts and our experiences.  How we re-think those moments in the past determines if we are paralyzed or free in the future.   We all have similar stories of unimaginable acts that would make for a Lifetime channel mini-series.  But those are not the things that stay with us.  What should stay with us are the lessons learned and the moments of joy.  My daughter is gorgeous and she is a child of the Divine. Whether or not she takes the light into her soul is not important because we all have duality.  I have enough love to send her to make up for the dark she sees in the world.

We are all connected.  How you think of me becomes a reflection of you and vice versa.  Think love, freedom, grace, hope, faith, and all the goodness there is in each one of us.  Because when we begin to focus on the negative or the darkness we are left with anger, resentment, fear and hatred.  It’s not worth housing those in the mind, body or spirit.  Say the words, “I love you and I forgive you” to yourself and let those words transport themselves into the world.  I feel you.  I love you.  We got this! You are not alone in your process even though you feel that your stories are too much to bear.  Let them go! Mucho love!



Two mornings ago, at 4AM, I woke to feed my grand-baby.  In the process I had to run to the bathroom and vomit.  This was the beginning of a long day hurled over a toilet, chills, body aches and trying to make sense of how and where I got sick.  With every release I felt parts of me shutting down.  I would go from the bathroom to the bed and back. I would go to check on the baby who was well taken care by my fiancé.  I needed to touch someone.  I needed to feel the security of life around me.  My state of awareness was fading along with my energy.  Touch via words, physical caress, or a glance was my lifeline.

It is in moments of illness, sadness, turmoil and desperation that human touch is the best cure.  Sometimes it seems like the only healing agent. A stroke on the forehead always seemed to soothe my children when they were sick.  A gentle caress with words of assurance always seems to aid a friend in need.  A rub on the neck or shoulders of a partner seems to remove the stressors of a day.  Touch!  It is that one thing that allows our humanity to cure itself from hatred and prejudice when we least expect it from a stranger.  The touch of hands, a smile, kindness and laughter erase the rough edges from anyone who is hurting quicker than any pill.  It might not last long but it is a start in allowing the mind, body and spirit to reconnect and find equilibrium.

When we are sick we think it is never going to be over.  The pain that progresses in the body creates a barrier of time and space.  We don’t know how we ever felt at our best.  Even a twenty-four hour stomach virus can spark the desire for comfort from another.  The most un-affectionate person can fear being alone.  It isn’t about feeling needy or clingy.  It is about knowing that someone out there has our back.  We are cared in a way that brings us back to the womb.  It reunites childhood emotions of safety, belonging, security and acceptance. The web of human and spirit unite bringing and taking us back to basics. All the medicine in the world can’t fix the necessity to be sustained and held by another.  Touch is vital to our existence.  And, it is even more prominent when we are sick.

I woke better the next day.  My mate and daughter caught it for themselves.  The things I can offer now are touches of love, kisses on their foreheads, gentle nudges, and the assurance that they aren’t alone.  I got their backs.  I can’t take away their symptoms but I can be there for whatever they need.  John Keats said that “touch has a memory.” I believe each caress has an imprinting long-lasting effect that transports spirit when it is done from love.   There’s a connection between relief, reward, reassurance, and release within the walls of our beings.   Our hands carry lifetimes of healing memories.  Within a fingertip we can create the awareness of universal love.

Everyday our lives are touched by desire, creativity, hope, dreams, spirituality, faith, love, and a million other things.  If we are fortunate enough to allow another to enter into our vulnerability we can be touched by God.  It is there that the source of our existence lights the path to every obstacle, malady, disorder and affliction.

“We have lost the art of public tenderness, these small gestures of wiping and washing; we have forgotten how abjectly the body welcomes a formal touch.” ~Anne Enright

Until Next Time


I have been directed so many times lately to get down on my knees and surrender.  I have done this alone in my most intimate moments: in meditation practice, while showering, in the woods, and in my kitchen (to name a few).  I have felt the force of hands guiding me down to let go.  In those personal moments Hope and Grace visit me.  I am shown silent-moving pictures of what can happen when I allow for God to do His thing.  That’s all I can do.  I stand each time and softly say, “Yes.  Thank you!  I got it.”

Reasoning looses a battle here inside of me.  I know I have no control over the events and forth coming circumstances.  These things create a life.  They are inevitable.  Each one of us has a path.  I get the whole metaphysical and esoteric teachings.  I understand the religious lingo.  I know our time here is made up of steps leading into another.  We can’t stop it.  The past just happened.  The future is starting.  There is just now, this very moment.

Sometimes we need a reminder.  We need a mirror to show us what is happening externally.  I live in my head, oblivious of my surroundings.  I meet people and couldn’t tell you what they looked like.  However I can pick up on a loss, a trauma, an event that changed their lives.  I can see the turmoil, or the joy, or Divinity rising from them, staring gently into my eyes.  I don’t know how this happens.  I don’t ask anymore.  I don’t always like seeing what I see.  I don’t always like knowing what I know.  A huge percentage of my life is spent in silence of those things I see around me and of loved ones.  It is a burden to others to know even when they think that they want to know.  And, it is a burden for me to carry those things even when I surrender.  For a lifetime this “knowing” had been denied.  A year or so ago I decided to just allow it.  It has been a challenge in many levels to have direct contact from Spirit and guides.  It isn’t for everyone to understand.  Depending on your beliefs and background it can be described as evil.  I never wanted to be judged for my intuition or discernment.  I kept it quiet for a lifetime.  And, here, now in this moment that intuition is what guides me to make the right choices.  It is the connection with God and all that is good.

Being down on my knees, holding God’s hands, I know this chapter with my daughter and granddaughter is far from over.  I have this baby in my care.  She is bringing so much joy and love into my life.  I fell in love with her the moment our eyes locked.  It was instantaneous.  Soul to soul opened a path.  And, here she is pushing and pulling love from so many around her.  But, my daughter is not.  She is in need of prayers, help and severe medical care at this point.  She’s not and will not think things in a rational manner.  How does one pick and choose what the path will lead into when mental illness dictates the journey?  I don’t know.  I seem to know even less every day.

I used to think that if you carried an open heart it was the gateway to Divinity.  I used to think if you showed kindness and compassion onto another that it would open up a tunnel into the holographic universe of hope.  I have always thought of myself as a level headed yet stubborn student.   Each lesson that has appeared has shown up at the precise moment needed to force growth into the evolution of my spirit.  Those things that were of certainty mean little to me right now.  Thoughts and emotions flow simultaneously.  My job is to allow them.  I am human.  It is a constant battle of ego and spirit.  Each day I am learning to move with Spirit.  Divinity is never wrong!

My wisdom at times falls short of sufficiency.  I surrender.  When those close to me witness the shut down things are taken personally.  I am trying to stay afloat while truly moving inward.  There is little else to do.  Fear has taken residency at times.  Then the hands of God reach down again to pull me down to the floor, reassuring me that I am not alone here.  My wonderful support group is here for me.  I am not a victim of these circumstances.  I am a bystander of the mess made by mental illness and lack of mental capabilities.  My daughter is who she is and has always been.  I love her more today than I did yesterday.  I am exhausted with the knowing that this won’t end well for her.  And in that knowing my equilibrium is unbalanced at times.  My mind swirls into chaos for several moments.  Tears spill outward and then I am new.  It happens frequently until the Divine hands me a smile from a baby, a touch from my lover, a concern conversation from a friend, and the wisdom to know that this too shall pass…until the next time.

“God had brought me to my knees and made me acknowledge my own nothingness, and out of that knowledge I had been reborn. I was no longer the centre of my life and therefore I could see God in everything.” – Bede Griffiths