Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gift of Winter's Dormancy

I am a weathered, winter's tree.

Limbs stripped bare by the brutal winds, devoid of the life which once flowered upon me.

Arms cold.



Outstretched to the sky in wait.

I lie desperate and willing for the green leaves of spring, longing for the fullness of life anew.


I feel that the dormancy of winter is heavily underrated. Loathed even.

Here in Iowa the winters are often brutally cold and send most of us into a hibernation of sorts for the bitter months. It is not uncommon during these times to log on to social media to see a myriad of fellow Midwesterners damning the winter in non-uncertain terms.

I admit to having some fairly horrid thoughts of my own during some the most brutal below-zero days. Especially in January, when I often get a debilitating case of the Januaries. You know The Januaries, right? When the cheer of the holidays has passed and you find yourself lost in the stark monotony of post-Christmas January?

I often find myself hunkering down for entire weekends, reading and journaling and turning into myself. This is where the winter dormancy gets good, Dear Ones. During those busy summer months, there is often little time for inner reflection.

Today, allow yourself the gift of winter's dormancy. Prepare your own fields for the surplus of the coming Spring. And, do not allow yourself to forget the promise of the warm sun is just around the bend.

Shine on. Inside and out, Dear Ones.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Art of Zen Parenting: Dance it off!

How-to Shake Off a Bad Day

Everyone has bad days, right. EVERYONE. That, of course, includes our children. We, as parents, would love to protect them from the big, bad world but that is both impossible and unhealthy as they need to gain the skills to navigate the world while still in the protective comfort of childhood.

I have many techniques for helping my kiddos de-stress, but this is one of the favorites for my girls. My 13 year old son, however, is no longer such a fan. :)

When one of the girls(ages 9 and 5) have a rough day, we put on our "Happy" playlist and they pick an appropriate song. Then we belt the song out at the top of our lungs and dance wildly around our living room until we are dripping with sweat and out of breath from all of the giggling. It is impossible to stay in a funk after this, for both the girls and their Mama.

The girls often choose songs that I wouldn't have necessarily added to my iTunes list on my own. However, some of these unlikely songs have now become my go-to songs in the midst of a bad day.

Our current list includes some of the following:

Happy by Pharrell Williams(when we just need cheering up)

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift(to literally shake off a bad day)

We Are The Champions by Queen(to remind ourselves that we are, indeed, champions)

It is a super simple, fun way to transition from a lousy school/life day into a time of family togetherness. And, shaking your booty is a good workout as well.

What are your favorite songs to shake off a bad day?

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I do not shy away from deep thoughts, challenging conversations.

I welcome them.

I loathe small talk. Talk with friends that you could be having with a stranger on the street.

I wish for conversations about what is heavy on your heart. What you think about late at night when you can't sleep.

The deep conversations that make you feel less alone, less different in this world.

Take a swim with me. Let us dive down underneath the shallow conversations of those around us. Deep into the cold, dark water to the warm, welcoming currents below. Let us stay here in this deep place and unburden our souls.

Come on in. The water is lovely.

swim deep conversations

Friday, January 23, 2015


Be kind. Be kind. In all things be kind.

Shine on, Dear Ones.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I fell apart clumsily. After, the pieces lay scattered on the floor.

Slowly, I rebuilt myself.

Placing bit by painful bit.




Until I was whole.

When the final piece was placed, I took a shaking breath.

I examined my newfound wholeness, sure to find my new self to be fragile, splintered.

But, somehow, I fit together better than before.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

About Those Curmudgeons...

There is a woman at a local community agency with whom I have to interact fairly frequency in order to acquire some needs for the families that I work with(I am a Visiting Maternal Child Nurse). This woman is the very epitome of cruel at times. It is a challenge every time that I walk into her office to simply maintain my own friendly demeanor. Keeping a smile on my face becomes an epic battle.

And yet- I wonder each time how she came to be this way. Surely, to have once made the choice to have begun a career helping others must mean that there is a heart that beats for others somewhere in that cold barrel chest of hers.

So, each time, I find myself imagining the life that led her here. To this place where she can no longer rustle up kindness and compassion and is stuck in a self-imposed jail of anger. How awful these circumstances must have been. How awful it must be to now live a life of sarcastic frustration with all who come into her bubble of hate.

I wish that I had the words, the actions to make her teeny tiny Grinch heart grow. But, I do not. However, I can continue to have compassion for this curmudgeon.

I will fight to keep that smile on my face.

I will be kind, even when she is not.

I will leave her cold office a little warmer than it was before I entered.

Because it must be dreadfully awful to live in that place of hate. It must be frigid and lonely and sad.

Even curmudgeons need love. Every damn day.

Love on, Warriors.