Turns out I've not been handling all of this as well as I first thought. All of this, being the worldwide hurricane known as COVID-19. I'm stressed. And, it's in my body. While giving flowery words to being positive and optimistic, staying present and ...
‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

What Will Give Me Ease Right Now?


Turns out I've not been handling all of this as well as I first thought. All of this, being the worldwide hurricane known as COVID-19. I'm stressed. And, it's in my body.

While giving flowery words to being positive and optimistic, staying present and healthy and upbeat as I try and boost up my family and friends along with myself, I'm realizing something. I've been in denial. Denying the stress, fear and anxiety that I've truly been feeling. So, now it's in my body and made me sick this week. Headache, vertigo, tight chest, cough. So, then my mind got messy - OMG do I have IT? I don't, but I went there. 

I don't think I'm alone in this denial thing. While out on a socially-distanced walk yesterday I came upon a woman. As we made eye contact and shifted to make sure there was appropriate distance between us, she said, "I think this is ridiculous and not real. Just stupid." But, as I got closer to her she had a flash of panic in her face and backed away from me. So, maybe she doesn't really think it's so ridiculous after all, somewhere down deep. Denial? 

It got me thinking about this thing that's grabbed hold of me and so many others. I may not have the disease, but I have most certainly have dis-ease. 

Dis-ease. Dis-ease is a way of being, one filled with worry, doubt, and anticipation of the worst outcome. Sound familiar?

In other words, fear.

Just what does dis-ease do to our bodies? There are a plethora of effects that take hold in a state of anxiety or dis-ease, but importantly, for this time, it can "weaken your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to viral infections."

And, there's science behind why we worry and suffer from dis-ease. As a Time article termed it, we are in pandemic anxiety. Dis-ease happens whenever the fear creeps in. 

So, that begged the question as I sat with my journal, what do I fear?

For the next several moments I took off all masks and laid to bare. And, made a list of all that I'm in fear of. And, they all came out. Of being alone. Of getting IT. Of death. Of losing work and healthcare. Of not finding true love. Of not thriving as a writer. Of not having money for retirement. Of being alone. Okay said that one twice. Of losing my passion, my drive, my creativity. Of this being the new normal. Of running out of time. Of. Of. Of.

I felt like I'd run a marathon after spewing them onto the page. Interestingly, seeing them in black and white, on a flat surface, letters and words, thoughts on paper, made them less huge. Less... real.

Next questions: Are these fears real? And, so what if they are? And, if they're not, what is the truth? So, I went back over each one again and asked myself the truth in and under each. 

Are they happening right now? No. In truth, most are future projections based on a series of self-created expectations and unknown circumstances that have nothing to do with me or with me, right now. They do not reflect my present, now. Then, when examining them, one by one, the truth was often the exact opposite of the fear. 

And, what's the opposite of dis-ease? 

Ease. Just uttering the word is calming. It happened to be my word-of-the-week this week in my Quick Sunday Read

The word means "absence of difficulty or effort." Or to "make something unpleasant, or intense, less serious or severe." And, "move carefully, gradually, or gently." Or "to give freedom or relief."

Alleviation, comfort, release, relief.

It's the state of being comfortable.

"Verily, with every hardship comes ease." – Quran, 94:6

Certainly, no one is truly in a state of comfortable right now. And, much of it is due to the unknown. 

"Being at ease with not knowing is crucial for answers to come to you." – Eckhart Tolle

There's a lot of talk about immune systems right now, I mean a lot of talk, and rightfully so. But the act of acquiring ease is something we can do all day long to keep our systems steady and healthy.

So, how to get there? To ease?

Some of my friends and I are trying this simple technique...

When dis-ease or anxiety happens, ask yourself this question at the moment:

What will give me ease right now?

The same goes for when a friend or loved one is in dis-ease. Ask them to consider what might give them ease, right then.

It could be as simple as taking a deep breath, remembering to exhale. We often hold our breath without realizing it.

It could be turning off the news that causes dis-ease. It's one thing to be informed, it's quite another thing to overload on the same fear-inducing info over and over.

It could be calling your doctor if you're feeling ill.

It could be reaching out to a friend. So often, once we say it out loud and release it, the ease comes.

It could be taking a specific action. It could be getting quiet.

"I am restless but deeply at ease. Branches tremble; the roots are still." – Rumi

And, so what if any of those fearful circumstances become my/our reality? Then, I'll find a new pathway.

Another truth is, my heart's desires are ingrained. What's not ingrained are the hows and the ways to get and be there.

Another truth is, the world will open up, widely, in new ways. Exciting ways. Ways we haven't thought of yet.

So, I'm surrendering to this. This time, this place, this pace. And, to the new portals that have yet to present themselves.

What brings me ease right now? That does. 

"Never lose hope, my dear heart. Miracles dwell in the invisible." Rumi


Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash


Need Reassurance? Lean on This


Expanding a little on this week's word-of-the-week from my Sunday Read: Resilience.

Words, thoughts and ideas have more power than ever during a time of uncertainty. This is one of those most powerful words that I'm leaning on right now. Resilience in mind, body and spirit. I'm finding it has far-reaching significance.

Resilience. What an empowering word.  

Resilience is a noun meaning "ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like." And "the ability of a substance to return to its usual shape after being bent, stretched, or pressed." And, "the ability to be happy, successful, etc. again after something difficult or bad has happened."

Buoyancy. Elasticity. Flexibility. Pliancy. Adaptability.

First used in 1620–30. From Latin resili(ēns), resilīre meaning to spring back, to rebound.

Psychologists believe everyone has the capacity for resilience and the ability to learn how to build it. The American Psychological Association says: "Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. Focusing on four core components — connection, wellness, healthy thinking and meaning — can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult and traumatic experiences. To increase your capacity for resilience to weather — and grow from — the difficulties, use these strategies."

"People rise out of the ashes because, at some point, they are invested with a belief in the possibility of triumph over seemingly impossible odds." – Robert Downey Jr.

Resilience is not ignoring the adversity or dilemma.

Resilience is being in high-conscious awareness about the adversity or dilemma - or virus - and digging into inner strength, healthy habits and higher wisdom (from real resources) to rise above it or ride through it, whatever is required.

It begins in the mind. Being resilient of mind is about calmness, equanimity and compassion. And, temperance. 

"Although the world is full of suffering; it is also full of the overcoming of it." – Helen Keller

The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Massachusetts has been on my list of wish visits for a while now.  They suggest this meditation to build Resilience.
It's a Metta loving-kindness meditation or LKM. And, it only takes 7 minutes to "kick in" and to feel the effects. It's very calming. 

Begin by getting comfortable in an alert position. I sit cross-legged on the couch. "Take a few minutes to become present with your body, allow your breath to be calm and steady, and connect with your heart." Then silently repeat these phrases, focusing them toward yourself:

May I be happy.
May I be healthy.
May I skillfully ride the waves of my life.
May I know peace no matter what life circumstances

Focus on yourself for a few moments. Then, replace "I" with "you" [May you be happy, etc.].  Then, "they" [May they be healthy, etc] for each. You can focus on someone(s) in particular.

And, I like to complete the cycle by saying "we" for the collective us. All of us.

May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we skillfully ride the waves of my life.
May we know peace no matter what life circumstances

"After offering to all living beings, let go of the wishes and, for a few moments, simply breathe, relax, and observe the effects of the meditation."

It just takes a few moments and not only feels peaceful and loving, but also expansive as in being one with the world. Thank you, Kripalu

I am resilient. Even the power of stating it - to yourself and to others - will instill the energy of resiliency in and around you. Try it...

It's not living in fear. It's living in strength.

Fear bounces off of resiliency because no matter what comes our way, we can get through it. There's power in that. Being resilient is not absorbing the fear of this virus, but by listening to the medical experts and making the healthiest choices for yourself, your family and the community.

And, then living your life with positive conviction. Learning new skills. Finding new ways to build momentum. Forging ahead with current passions.

"With the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts." — Eleanor Roosevelt

That. Is. Resilience.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


The Word for 2020 Connects Everything


During the process of coming up with my word for 2020, I toyed with the idea of having two. An inner word, like alignment as in making decisions and choices that are in alignment with purpose… And an outer word, like visibility as in meeting more people and putting myself in experiences that will help elevate my relationships and work.

A dear friend and I were discussing what our words might be; she said something to the effect that she wants to not isolate, to be out more with people. She suggested Connect or Connection as her word. I said, "Great word. Maybe it's my word too." I laughed, because, of course, it is. Connect is all things inner and outer! 

We connect. It’s what we do. Until we don’t.

Several months ago I hit a wall of overwhelm. I didn’t know what was wrong. I felt cloudy and unfocused. And, not a little bit sad and I didn’t know why. I was on the phone with my sister when I started to cry. She felt so far away (she’s in Austin I’m in LA) and that’s when it bubbled up, what was wrong. I felt disconnected, from everything, my family, my writing, my relationships, my work. So, I did what I do when I’m stressed and in an unsettled mind. I got quiet. Interestingly, my word last year was Mindfulness. So, I got mindful. I meditated, prayed, journaled and counseled.

The answer that came was: You need to disconnect to connect.

So, I did. I did a 30-day digital detox where I disconnected from all things media - online and off - unless it had to with work, my writing or something that would lift my soul. I wrote about it at the time, but the upshot is I reconnected to myself and connected to what I value. It was a powerful shift. It got me thinking about how our connection, or disconnection, drives our lives. 

Connection is a personal power

As human beings we are receptors in constant connection. Our bodies tell us when something’s wrong or when we feel good.

Our eyes and ears connect us to our world. The attention economy is all about grabbing our eyes and ears, our attention. And, then engaging that attention until we fully connect. That’s the end goal. To win and own our connection by holding our minds and hearts. It’s one thing to capture your attention, but to make a connection that leads you to click, to watch or read, to share a post, to make a decision, to purchase, to change a belief, to vote… that’s everything today.

Cal Newport is his book "Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World" says: “Outsourcing your autonomy to an attention economy conglomerate—as you do when you mindlessly sign up for whatever new hot service emerges from the Silicon Valley venture capitalist class—is the opposite of freedom, and will likely degrade your individuality.”

It’s your power to choose if, when and how you connect. That’s pretty massive personal power. And one that it’s easy to forget.  

It’s your choice if, when, where or how you connect your attention. Your connection is more valuable than a Wall Street commodity.

Be finicky with your connection

As human beings we are fully equipped with input and output channels. But, our bandwidth is only so wide. Be selective about what you allow to connect to that personal real estate. Be selfish with it, and discernible.

On the other hand, you can choose to be generous with your connection when it serves the greater good, a higher purpose, whether it’s your own or another’s, a worthy cause and relationships worth fostering.

To Connect is a primitive human need. I mean if the human race was designed to evolve and expand, we kinda have to connect with one another. I’m just sayin'.

Here are some ways to deeply Connect in 2020:

Connect to the body symphony. It’s the tissues in-between, the veins and joints and body scaffolding that keep us strong and healthy. Make a loving connection to your body with the right foods, moving the body and getting a solid 8-hours of sleep per night. 

Connect to mind/heart/spirit. Meditate to get quiet, to receive your highest wisdom. Pray to receive God’s guidance. Learn from the ancient Stoics and philosophers by reading them. Practice self-love.

"You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." Marcus Aurelius

Connect to the present moment. The easiest way to do that is to connect to your breathing. Often. 

Connect to community. I’m focusing on my Kindness Community: those people who are part of my Mobius where we lift each other up, promote each other’s goodwill, always, and never gossip about one another. This is a requirement for an inner circle’s true connection. I saw a quote recently that said, “I will only sit at a table where I won’t be the topic of ill-will conversation after I leave it.” Amen. That really spoke to me. Part of loving, consistent, kind, safe, boosting connection is fostering that promise.

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohr

Connect more live and in-person. With people, rather than online. Which, for me means getting my butt out of the house more. Walk. Take in more life experiences. Explore great places around town. Make more dates. Gather friends for write-ins and discussion. Create a list of people you want to connect more with this year.

"Great communication begins with connection." Oprah Winfrey 

Connect to purposeful work. For me that’s creativity. And, connect in a deeper way. A new way, every day, in a rich, advancing-the-story manner. Look for fresh avenues to progress your work in pure, authentic connection. Meeting people from that place, the projects and partnerships that are in alignment will flourish. The rest will fall away.

Connect deeply with current projects and the people involved, nourishing those rich collaborations. 

Connect with other creators who are living their creativity. What can we give to and receive from one another? Read great writing and storytelling by reading several books each month. This one would for you be whatever is your purposeful work. Connect with others who are living it. 

Connect with nature more. Animals. Trees. Explore unexplored territories. Be in service to the earth. 

Connect with family in meaningful, memorable ways. Be of service.

Connect with money and finances on a regular basis. Examine and reexamine goals to create and protect your future. It’s never too late to get serious about it. Connecting regularly keeps it on track.

Connect daily with your goals. Get clear about them and commit. By connecting with them daily they become a part of your vernacular.

Connect to your attention. It's a fast life, but what I found when I disconnected to connect, the more I was in touch with where I placed my attention, the slower life became, the moments in-between held more air and space to breathe. To create.

Connect the dots. When you start to realize that we really are all connected with all that is, things make sense. 

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow man." Herman Melville

Want more meaning in your life? Connect to what you value.

Want to be healthier? Connect to your body, mind and spirit. 

Success? Connect to your goals and your collaborative relationships

Peace of mind? Connect to your spirit.

Want love? Connect to yourself first. Connect to others from a place of self-love. It levels the field and you'll receive the most committed relationships when you're solid on your own worth. It becomes a powerful connection.

"Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued - when they can give and receive without judgment." Brené Brown

Connect. Connect. Connect. 


Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash


Lessons from the Formative Teen Years

A decade in review...


I remember thinking 2020 seemed so far away when I was a kid. What would I be doing? What would the world be like? Where would I be living then? Such were the ruminations of a dreamer teen still forming her ideas about life.

Even ten years ago, 2020 seemed like an eternity away. And, what a decade it’s been. The teen years. It got me thinking about how the last decade has also been, in so many ways, the formative teen years in my adulthood.

My adult coming-of-age.

Usually this time of year I review the past 12 months – the highs and lows, lessons learned or taught, relationships that shaped and grew or phased on because the contract was complete, projects culminated, new ideas birthed and coddled, loved ones getting married, passing on, babies arriving, blessed pets lost, health experiments, new words learned and used, books read, transformative thoughts conversed… Gotta say, I love the review and recap.

However, this moment, which only happens a handful of times in a person’s life, we get to glance into the rearview at a decade before the digits roll over onto the new one. It’s a collective step, leap or roar forward. In this case into the new roaring 20's. 

Although it’s a huge span of time with numerous milestones, events, highs and lows, that were met, seen and experienced, I’ve found that it’s the heart, mind and spirit stuff that has bubbled to the surface. The lessons life has presented along the way.

My coming-of-age has definitely been from the inside out. I took a gander at my blog posts on Thought Changer over the last ten years and they showed the GPS for my adult teen-years path.

Here were the 23 biggest ones I will take with me into my (our) 20’s:

  1. Slow down inside of a fast-moving life – the in-between moments are what life is all about.
  2. Own your words and use them wisely. And, kindly.
  3. Trust yourself. It’s the simplest way to find your voice and stay on your path.
  4. Listen to your own cues. With discernment and curiosity.
  5. Pay attention to life’s metaphors. They speak to us everywhere. Life is pretty magical in that way.
  6. Life is a laboratory. Live the questions and be open for the answers that come.
    And, in that way life is also a river when you learn to go with the flow and to ride and navigate the currents.
  7. Gratitude, compassion, kindness and understanding are our connective tissues. They connect us to ourselves as well as others and the world. They are the keys to unlock meaning and purpose.
  8. We really are all connected. To each other. To the seasons. To nature. To the universe. It’s a comforting reminder, always.
  9. Everything is a choice. We have permission to make our own. It is our greatest freedom and it starts with our thoughts.
  10. What we think about, is. Change your thoughts, change your life. It's oft said and there's a good reason for it. It's so, so true.
  11. Let go of perfection. Surrender instead into being a work in progress.
  12. Declutter often. Recalibrate often. Refuel often. Get quiet often. Learn from your own thoughts often. Learn from the ancient masters often. Repeat.
  13. Stop apologizing.
  14. Listen to your body – it tells us everything we need to know. Allow the heart to lead.
  15. What you believe creates your reality.
  16. Take regular strolls outside your comfort zone.
  17. Lean into what’s working and do more of that.
  18. Know your own resilience, your own phoenix that rises from the ashes of disappointment or setback. Mine is creativity. It’s what I turn to over and over again.
  19. Be available for what’s in front of you. Just saying “I’m available for…” puts you there.
  20. Relish the feeling of legacy when it taps you on the shoulder. Listen to your soul calling. When you get quiet enough every day, you’ll hear it. Feel it. Look at #12 again. 
  21. Don’t waste too much time looking at the horizon. Focus on what’s next. Just the next step. Then, you’re ready for the leap when it shows up.
  22. Integrate. Know that contraction is a part of every life expansion. When you know that, you take the time to fully integrate big transformation.
  23. Hone the skill of perspicacity with will manifest in a life guided in insight, intuition and intellect.

I also asked myself these three questions, to aid in the review:

What feels like a lead weight, or a chained shackle I want to cut free? Things I want to leave behind in the teens. Like the need to please, or the need to apologize, or fear of completion, or of asking for help…

What feels light, like a hot air balloon, or a cloud on the atmosphere? Things I want to guide me forward. Like the desire to learn. Also, the tenets of understanding, gratitude and love.

What feels like connective tissue? The mind-body fabric that becomes ingrained. Like self-trust, confidence, certainty, inner wisdom, curiosity.

What I know in my bones now, after trudging, crawling, strolling, running and soaring through my formative adult teen years, is these are all part of becoming seasoned, gathering the stones that will pave and smooth the next part of my path.

What might yours be? I'll be thinking more this week about plans for 2020. But, for now... 

Happy New Year!

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash


It's All About Coming Home

An Answer to An Eternal Question. 

Welome sign


Birthdays are a favorite time for reflection, so today, I’m once again assessing where I am and what I’ve learned and if there are any nuggets to share. This year, rather than compiling a list of lessons and isms, it’s one of the eternal questions on my mind and an answer that’s been percolating for quite some time.

Why am I here?

As I was walking to get coffee one morning, I saw a man across the street, out for his morning stroll. I paused to watch him because there was something magnetizing about his carriage. He was elegant, wearing a cappuccino-colored suede jacket over jeans. I’m guessing he was early 60’s, had shoulder-length silver hair pulled back into a loose yet neat ponytail and wore large sunglasses, as he was walking toward the bright, rising sun.

What captivated me was his gait. He had a long, confident stride as he walked with a cane. But the cane wasn’t there to help him walk;  it was a prop, a walking companion, a dance partner as he swung it in front of him and struck the sidewalk in a steady rhythm.

A few months later, while in France with friends, I saw a woman who, although very different, reminded me of that man. We were in Saumur, in the Loire valley. It was a perfect afternoon; after buying chocolate and strolling the charming cobblestone streets that seemed to meander forever, we stopped for lunch at a sidewalk cafe. It was mid-afternoon when I noticed the woman.

She caught my eye when she was about a block away. She was also late 50’s, early 60’s, with a smart chin-length bob; she had an easy swing to her stride, her casual, denim shirtdress swayed gently with each step. As she sat at the table next to us, we exchanged greetings, “Bonjour, Madame.” Her voice was low in timber and strong in expression. She settled back with her espresso and cigarette, lost in her own reverie. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

What was it that struck me about this man and this woman? They were both comfortable in their skin. But, it was more than that. They each had a deep sense of home about them, of personal ownership that preceded and walked alongside them.

What is home?

I've been thinking a lot about home lately. It has different meanings to people, at different times in their lives. For me, it started as a journey from the outside in.

I've lived in 21 homes during my life. That seems like a lot. Looking back, each home signified a theme and a progression of some kind. I remember feeling safe and loved in the family homes in which I grew up, where I never questioned where or what home was, it was with family. 

As a young adult, home meant striking out on my own, being able to make my own decisions about how I furnished it and lived there. Responsibility was the theme.

The first home I owned, a small bungalow in Royal Oak, Michigan, was a big mark of adulthood. Even though the bank was the true owner, I had a real sense of independence and ownership for the first time in my life. It was the first time I heard the phrase, "The house has good bones." I could make it a home and it was glorious to make it my own.

The house I owned with my ex-husband was new construction and we shared all of the decisions as to what went into that house to make it our own. Adventure, conflict, and compromise were rotating themes. It was an adventure for a while until we grew apart, realizing that things didn’t fit. I never felt like I fit in there and I kind of lost myself for a bit. So, that home represented coupling, a loss of personal ownership, then un-coupling.

Shortly after divorcing I transferred to Los Angeles with the company I was with and I bought a sweet little condo that felt like being a part of something grand, after which upgraded to a house with a big yard. I loved that house which was filled with so much happiness. Then, something else happened to rock my world.

I got laid off from the corporate job with the corner office. I was in the bubble that millions found themselves in at that time. There I was, without a job and with a big mortgage payment. I blew through savings over the next several months, and I got a tenant. I went through all of the processes made available during that time of crisis and tried to save my house. The American Dream became a nightmare.

It was in that house that it began to sink in, deep, that a house is not the home. The house is brick and mortar, slats and beams. I sold the house, downsized and moved on, as my career and life moved on too.

My idea of home started to change. I began some soul-searching spiritual work and the external signals became louder. 

“I need harmony in my home.”

I was in a brief living situation that was difficult and at times combative. I didn't feel at home. I said, “I need harmony in my home.” It started an ongoing conversation between the housemates about what that meant and might look like. That house represented a major shift in my definition of being home.

One morning I woke to up to find a spectacular spider web, the most intricate I’d ever seen, outside my door. It was a huge expansive mansion with its orb weaver and homeowner posing in the center. When I returned at the end of the day, the web and the spider were gone.

The next morning, the same spider built another web in the exact same spot. Fascinated, I learned this particular spider actually eats her web after the laborious task of building it, only to build it again the next day, and the next, and the next. She had a very specific intention while building it and also while tearing it down and taking it with her.

It got me thinking about was how this wise spider was never homeless because she carried her home with her. Inside of her. It was always with her, even as it was displayed for the world to see, she was connected to it, it was a part of her and represented who she was.

Well, that changed my entire perspective. It was empowering.

Home is an inside job.

When I shared living space, whether, with an ex-husband, tenants or a variety of roommates over the years, I appreciated the lessons of community and relationship. Many of those people I consider some of my greatest teachers.

There’s a reason some axioms are evergreen. They are true: Home is where the heart is. There’s no place like home.

There’s no searching for home when you have it with you always. The cane-walking man, French woman, and spider taught me that. I settled into my own sense of home, more contained, more within.

I have good bones. I can make a home here, where true harmony resides.

Rumi said, “Remember, the entrance to the door of the sanctuary is inside you.”

The seeking really does start inside. Often we find ourselves searching outside of us, looking for happiness, purpose, validation, which is why so often we can come up empty, constantly searching for something that feels elusive.

So, as I ponder on this day, beginning my next year around the sun, the answer to this question is crystallized.

Why am I here?

To come home. Everything starts and ends there. 

What has become clear, in order to discover your purpose, you must first come home to yourself. When you launch from solid inner homeownership, your purpose becomes your way of being. And, when you share your purpose with the world in a way that helps and serves others, it’s a beacon that shines from the center of your soul, the hearth of your home. You no longer feel the angst of searching for something outside yourself.

And, it's when you are safe and self-loved in your inner home that you are truly ready to invite someone else in, someone who will reflect his or her own safe and loved self within. How magical is that?

It takes courage to unlock the door to your inner home. For me, it’s been through deep meditation, prayer, plant medicine work, writing, sharing and being in community with others who are seeking as well. Curious conversations are illuminating.

What are some keys to unlock your inner home?

Carve out committed quiet time where you’re just being with you. Commit to it every day. Get up a half-hour earlier than the rest of your household. Or shut everything down an hour before bedtime as the house quiets down for the night.

Meditate to get in touch with your breath and your body. Find a guided mindfulness meditation that will ease you through it. When my mind wanders, I focus silently on this mantra: “I am home.” On the inhale: “I am.” On the exhale: “Home.” It’s incredibly grounding and simple.

Breathwork is extremely powerful to open your energetic pathways and to get in touch with yourself.

Journal to communicate with your inner voice, the homeowner. Your inner voice, your higher wisdom, the God inside of you, is the one that says “welcome home.” 

And, hey, I still love and enjoy a beautiful home to live in. I’m a Libra, what can I say? I’m comforted by nature and aesthetics and my surroundings and enjoy spending time and energy creating my living sanctuary. But, now I enjoy my environment even more because I’m not seeking the satisfaction out there.

So, why am I here?

I am here to come home and to live my purpose from here. To transcend basic human struggles by knowing I’ll find most answers inside my own wisdom and by integrating that knowledge into my daily life. It’s not the only answer to why I am here. But, to me, everything starts and comes from that sense of home.


Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash