Courageous Love

When you allow love to reach the depths of your soul,

You begin to heal the fragments of pain that tend to sneak

in and attach at the core – trying to disrupt the joy that resides there.

Unconditional love requires great strength, courage, and perseverance.

The reward it brings is sometimes beyond the realm of reality,

Almost bordering fantasy, but well worth the experience and

trials of the journey.

A refreshing light inside – lending a dream to the dreamer

and a pallet to the artist.

The reality of it is there if you allow it and BELIEVE.

My Place of Tranquility

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A Continuum of What Is…. 2011 into 2012

As the calendar year comes to a close, I am not looking at it as an end or a beginning, but as a continuum of what is. I have no resolutions to make, just reflections observed on a moment by moment basis. All I have is right now. Right now… I will live out loud, love with a fierce passion that radiates to all, be humble and compassionate and comfort those who need an extra hug or kind word. I will be me in the most authentic way the moment brings. Right now… I will take care of my mind, body and soul with the same love, compassion, and care I do others. I want to thank each and everyone of you for being a part of my life and my journey each and every moment we are on this planet together.  Love, Light and Peace to all this New Year’s Eve.

N.

I Hear You, Because I Listened

Lately I have practiced a lot of listening. Listening to others when they speak, listening to the sounds of nature, listening to my own internal voice…. just being still and listening. There is so much knowledge to gain when you are still and listen. We get so busy in life, with all of our stuff, we sometimes forget to connect to the rest of the world. One way to connect is by stopping, becoming still and taking time to listen. Listening is also the highest form of respect you can give another person.

I have made it a point to really listen to what people are saying in conversations. Sometimes I think we just get used to giving certain answers when conversing. Yes, uh huh, oh really, etc. seem to just come out when we aren’t fully listening to someone who is speaking to us. I am not sure if I do it because I am not interested  or I am just distracted, but when I find myself straying from the conversation, I have made an effort to pull myself back into the fold and listen with intent.

Nature is all around me, and I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful place. I have at times taken for granted the beauty that is around me. The beach and ocean is my favorite place to just go and relax, meditate, and write. I have made it a point to get there every day I can for almost four months now. The sounds you hear at the beach when you listen, can be interpreted as many things. People’s voices can bring joy and excitement at the spotting of a shark or birds feeding on bait fish. The sounds of the birds flying over or sitting just offshore can alert to bait fish in the immediate area, or if the seagulls are swarming, someone may have food out. The waves moving into the shore are my favorite though. The ocean is mighty and immense. The waves can go from sloshing to crashing. I am always awestruck by it all.

Take time today to stop and listen. Each moment we are given is for us to live and learn, to share and love. Give the biggest gift of love and respect, listen to others with interest and awareness. Listen to your own thoughts and reactions. When you listen with awareness it is easier to discern and let go. If you shut out the “noise” around you, you close yourself off from life, love and possibly your next revolution.

 

 

Sharing Gratitude

Being grateful is an amazing thing to share with others, it can be infectious and rewarding. Today it made me smile a couple of times. I went to lunch with three of my favorite inherited siblings, Mitch, Beverly, and Judy. Please if you read this keep them and their mother in your prayers. She will be coming home from the hospital, but will be under the care of hospice. Ok on with my story. I had planned on coming home to “rest” some more, I have kept a cold at bay for several days now, but drove through the parking lot and decided to go into Hobby Lobby. I needed to find an ornament for an ornament exchange next month and of course I always have to check the beading/jewelry making section out too! While I was in the ornament section I noticed this woman picking ornaments and hanging them on one of the artificial trees. She tried to engage a couple of people passing by in conversation about the ornaments, at that moment I really didn’t think anything of it. As I pick my ornament and am leaving the aisle, she says to me “I have a hanging light I am trying to decorate. What do you think about these ornaments?” The lightbulb went off and visions of my mother whose children all live far away came rushing into my head. I smiled at the woman and started helping her arrange the ornaments on the tree as if they were hanging on the light. I think we spent the next 15 minutes finding just the right ornaments for her to take home. Honestly, I don’t think it was about the ornaments at all. I think she wanted some conversation and company. She was happy and left to make her purchases. When you can stop and see what is going on around you and take your time to make someone else’s day a little brighter you are sharing the gratitude. At that moment my heart was filled with gratitude and love. I was grateful I was in that place at that time to give of myself. There are no coincidences.

I have a lot of gratitude these days. I consciously try to smile and say hello to anyone I cross paths with, no matter where I am. It lifts my mood, keeps my attitude in check and never fails to give something back to me. I may not know exactly what then, but the message always shines through and has perfect timing.

My second encounter of gratitude sharing occurred at the beach. I remember saying to Beverly “it is so nice out, I am going to have a hard time not going to the beach today.”  Well, I couldn’t resist and did go to the beach. I walked about three miles total. On my walk down the beach, on a secluded part of the beach, I saw a couple who had buried their legs in the sand. They were having a ball laughing and playing. I was about at the end of where I usually walk and passed them, only to walk about 50 more feet and turn around. Something told me I needed to take their picture for them. I turned around and took my headphones out and asked them if they had a camera and wanted a picture. It is then I found out they were newlyweds and “yes, absolutely we want a picture.” I then went up to where their things were and brought the bag with the camera down to them. I took 6 pictures, making them kiss for one of them. They were very grateful that I had walked by.

It is amazing to me that when you live in the moment and pay attention to the things around you the joy you can share and spread. Living with intention, compassion and gratitude gives life a whole new flavor. I like to call it the flavor of LOVE! I challenge everyone who reads this to share your gratitude and LOVE with all of those you meet. Life is too short for anything else. You are only given this very moment!

A Rawthentic Look At The Past Three Months

I am not exactly sure when I started being totally raw, but I know around the first of June the process started. I think it took about two weeks to wean off of the dairy and another three weeks after that to completely quit coffee…. I would have to go back and look at my posts, and I really don’t care. The point is, I haven’t had meat, dairy or coffee for a while now and I feel fantastic!

Every day I am more inspired and amazed by the people I come in contact with who are on the same journey or are adding more fresh foods to their diets or they are diving right in. I have to admit, this change wasn’t that hard for me, because I was pretty much a vegetarian to begin with. The first two weeks of weaning off of things were the biggest challenge I suppose, but as I got to each “next day” a natural flow of eating mostly raw things happened.  I did have a McDonald’s hamburger the third week coming home from the shop. I was hungry and hadn’t brought enough food. It made me sick for three hours after I got home. I even had a fever.  I don’t really have any cravings for “that food” any more. It is inconsequential.

The biggest surprise for me is my body’s transformation. I seriously had not gone to the beach in a few years, because I didn’t even want to put on a one piece swimsuit. I wouldn’t wear shorts, skirts, or dresses it is pretty pathetic actually. Those who know me, know I wasn’t “fat”, but they also know that over the past eight years I had put on a few pounds. Yes, I still wore a size 6 and carried the weight, but it was there. Before raw I was 163 lbs. I weighed less than that nine months pregnant with both of my boys! Today the scale hit 142. Pretty amazing because I wasn’t looking to lose any weight when I started this. I was all in it for health, to get nourishment to my body, all of my cells and to keep dis-ease away!!!! The weight loss has been the bonus! It has also made me feel younger and healthier and I have an abundance of energy! I love it!

Eating raw has also given me a new-found freedom. I don’t really stress over too much anymore. There is so little we are in control of and the things we think we want to have control of we probably should just be letting go of. Other than going through  a small of emotional detox, my mind is clearer  and sharper and my emotions have been pretty even keeled. Yes, every once in a while I will be walking the beach and I will have tears streaming down my face. I always stop and breathe and just let whatever is happening happen. I don’t try to analyze it, I just go with it.

The beach, as my friend Laura put it, has been my Mecca. Every day that I can get out there and get that dose of sun (vitamin D), sand, salt water, and ocean air, I do! I relax out there, I meditate there, I exercise, I converse with strangers, and when I am out there I write. Some days I have a lot to write, others I just write about what I see and what the day is like. I feel so much love at the beach. Nature is an awesome thing most of us take for granted in our busy lives. I am so glad I have rediscovered nature and all of its wonders.

I have to say the past three months have been some of the most life transforming I have had in a long time. They have been invigorating, enlightening and humbling. There are many things I think contributed to this, but after going through a cancer diagnosis, it was time to take charge of my health and get things right in my body, mind and soul. Some people may think this is radical and that I have gone bonkers. The proof is in the results, I will take my way of eating over the fast food, hormone injected, GMO world I once lived in, any day…. that way of eating may not seem radical, but to someone who has already had cancer, I see it as dangerous to my health.

On that note, we all have to decide what works for us, whether it be diet, belief system, career choice or anything else important or not. Having said that, we should also be accepting, loving and kind towards each other. At some point there has to be a sense of tolerance from people on all sides of issues. People have become so rigid in their views, opinions and beliefs, and this closes the door to love, peace and harmony. I would rather live peacefully, than bicker and argue all of the time.  Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I can’t love you, because I will. Will you do the same for me?

Peace and Love

Natalie

The Color of Love

Amazing things happen at the beach in the morning hours. The sea overnight has returned the shore to a pristine state, where previous day’s footprints were what you could see for miles. It is especially invigorating to see the sun as it comes up on the horizon, the beauty it projects across the water and the hues the rays create on the water. Astounding! Love!

Today as I meditated and then walked, I couldn’t help but see love all around me. I sat and meditated for thirty minutes. As I was settling in a couple of people walked by glancing at me. I brought no towel to sit on. I just wanted to sink into the sand. As I was centering, I noticed a man who passed me walk a few hundred yards down the beach and sit in the sand. When this man passed me, I smiled and said good morning. I couldn’t help but think, did he want to see what it looked like to sit and look out at the beauty and colors the morning was creating? He didn’t stay long, but he took a moment.

Along the walk I stopped to talk with a few different people. The first person was a gentleman who comes to the beach each morning with his three-legged black lab. They have been coming for four years. I didn’t ask how the dog came to be without a leg, I just observed the love as this man talked about his experience with this beautiful dog. The dog fetches a stick from the ocean. Simply amazing if you ask me!

Further down the beach the other direction was another woman with her dog. I passed her as I walked, and she commented that she was moving slowly this morning. When I turned around to head back to my starting point I encountered her again, this time I stopped, asked her what her dog’s name was and we struck up a conversation.  She just needed someone to listen to her, to hear what she had to say, what she was feeling. A common human desire we all have, but sometimes are afraid to open our heart to. The intimacy of listening to another person, or having another person know what we are feeling can bring on a fear of being rejected. You have to accept yourself first, before love can enter and stay.

What was really the most enlightening experience of the morning for me is that thoughts, words and descriptions came into my head in waves and then they were gone. Things that described what I was experiencing in that moment. Some of the words I wanted to remember, but they were fleeting. I guess I was in that moment and those words were meant to be left there!

As I was leaving to go back to my car I smiled and said good morning to every person I passed.

Where the shore meets the sea your footprints are washed away with every incoming wave. Your footprints are there for that moment, and then they are gone. Learn to find the colors of love in every person and every thing around you. Walk purposefully every day, smile, give love and be willing to receive it.