Archive for Life

The Life of a Day

sun burst   This day dawned fresh and new, a welcome surprise given the humid heaviness of yesterday.  How wonderful…a near perfect day, I thought as I sipped my coffee…a good day to post a poem about “Spring mornings” on my blog. Retrieving my favorite collection of poems (Good Poems chosen by Garrison Keiller) from by bookshelf, I came across this little gem! Read it slowly, let its message soak in. I’ve done just that and I’m soaking up all this day has to offer, but when tomorrow comes along with something different…perhaps grey skies, or oppressive heat, I plan to meet it with full appreciation of it’s “one-of-a-kind” offer to me. Each day is to be treasured…this I know to be true.

The Life of a Day


Tom Hennen

Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has

its own personality quirks which can easily be seen

if you look closely.  But there are so few days as

compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it

would be surprising if a day were not a hundred

times more interesting than most people.  But

usually they just pass, mostly unnoticed, unless

they are wildly nice, like autumn ones full of red

maple trees and hazy sunlight, of if they are grimly

awful ones in a winter blizzard that kills the lost

traveler and bunches of cattle.  For some reason

we like to see days pass, even though most of us

claim we don’t want to reach our last one for a

long time.  We examine each day before us with

barely a glance and say, no, this isn’t one I’ve been

looking for, and wait in a bored sort of way for

the next, when, we are convinced, our lives wil

start for real.

Soul’s Journey in the Heart of New Mexico




by Renae Been

When Moses thrust his staff into the Earth,

he did not waver.

Be it Destiny, Fate, Divinity,

no matter,

he felt the thread of inspiration

intersect with the pulse of the Earth

the two beat as one.

It was his time.

Some may inquire in later years,

How did you do it?

I will whisper,

I do not know.

I heard the sea gathering,

giant cupped hands

lifted the edges of her salty skirt

revealing the path.

I began to crawl,

clothed only with questions


the Promised Land.

Breathtakingly beautiful like the land that inspired it, this exquisite poem by Renae Been captures the essence of my Soul’s Journey Through the Heart of New Mexico. “Clothed only with questions,” I spent a week absorbing the energy and beauty of this sacred land at Ghost Ranch where the earth and sky meet, in community with extraordinary loving and open-hearted women, seekers and path-finders all.  I felt “the thread of inspiration intersect with the pulse of the Earth” connecting me with All That Is in a powerful way.

This Women’s Spiritual Retreat created by my friend and colleague, Marilou Bova, was designed to help us open to the internal guidance of our soul through quiet reflective time; open to the wisdom of the land and the sky; open to the wisdom of our bodies through yoga, massage, energy work and walking labyrinths; open to the wisdom of each other in sacred conversations. (Marilou Bova is gathering another group of women in Abiquiu September 5-12.  For more information you can contact her at

Marilou’s generous and loving spirit draws not only the participants in the retreat, but also women in the Abiquiu community who enriched our experience in many ways. One unforgettable evening by the Charma River, Carolyn Morningstar Berry, a grandmother who walks behind a long line of grandmothers from the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe in California, guided us through a sacred Medicine Wheel Ceremony inspiring us to move in harmony with the flow of life.  Women of Abiquiu prepared delicious food for us, offered body and energy work, and gathered  with us for a potluck dinner at Jaye Buros’ Rising Moon art gallery.  It was here that we heard Renae recite her poem, Exodus.

For me, “the promised land” is here and now.  I return home accepting my responsibility as an Elder and a Grandmother to pass on what I’ve learned in this lifetime.  I believe passionately in this: we are living in extraordinary times of social, economic, and environmental upheaval which require leadership from all of us to step forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  I believe we have a shared responsibility to create a sustainable future to ensure the common well-being, to nurture a flourishing human community, and to preserve our Mother Earth.

Thomas Merton inspires me to hold on to the resolve I felt so strongly in New Mexico.  Humans have a responsibility to find themselves where they are, in their own proper time and place in the history to which they belong and to which they must inevitably contribute either their response or their evasions, either truth and act,or mere slogan and gesture.


Advice from Mary Oliver and Tim McGraw!

Blue pink star systems

When Death Comes 

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,

and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

by Mary Oliver

Oh my… death will come “like a hungry bear in autumn!”  Imagine that! Why is it that many of us try to keep this reality at bay or even deny it? Last week my “Conscious Aging” group gathered to talk about our views and feelings about death and dying. A rich conversation ensued that led us to a place of deep appreciation for this life we are living moment to moment, day to day for not one of us wanted to end up “simply having visited this world.”

Weaving her magic, Mary Oliver declares that while here let’s “be like a bride married to amazement” and “take the world in our arms as a bridegroom,”  treasuring each life, feeling our connection with all that is…”a brotherhood and a sisterhood” yet each “body a lion of courage and precious to the earth.”

In other words, “live like you are dying” as Tim McGraw, country music star,  implores us in this hit song:

 Live Like You Are Dying

He said I was in my early forties

With a lot of life before me

When a moment came that stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next days, looking at the x-rays
Talking bout the options and talking bout sweet time.

I asked him when it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit ‘cha when you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d ya do?
And he said

I went skydiving
I went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’

And he said, Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dyin’

He said, I was finally the husband
That most the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend, a friend would like to have

And all of a sudden goin’ fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
Well I, I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again.

What We Need Is Here



Canadian Geese Flying in V Formation

What We Need is Here

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear

in the ancient faith: what we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye,

clear. What we need is here.                              

by Wendell Berry 

Why is it so difficult for us to remember the simple truth that what we need is here? Living from this place of faith with clear eye and quiet heart seems profoundly out of reach for many of us.

With remarkable simplicity, this poem reminds me to do the inner work of opening, allowing and letting go into the timeless present for it is here that I can experience life fully and more freely.  It is here that I come to a place of acceptance, of peace with the way it is.




Do You Believe in Miracles?

Beauty Summer Day. Abstract environmental backgrounds for your d

All is a Miracle

Thich Nhat Hanh

 I like to walk alone on country paths, 
rice plants and wild grasses on both sides,

putting each foot down on the earth
 in mindfulness,

that I walk on the wondrous earth.

In such moments, existence is a miraculous 
and mysterious reality.

People usually consider walking on water

or in thin air a miracle.

But I think the real miracle

is not to walk either on water or in thin air,

but to walk on earth.

Every day we are engaged in a miracle

which we don’t even recognize:

a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,

the black, curious eyes of a child–

our own two eyes.

All is a miracle.

                                                                    Thich Nhat Hanh, “Miracle of Mindfulness”


Sweet Honey from Old Failures

macro shot of honey bee on a honeycomb (natural product)

Last night, as I was sleeping by Antonio Machado

English version by Robert Bly

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that a spring was breaking out in my heart. I said: Along which secret aqueduct, Oh water, are you coming to me, water of a new life that I have never drunk?

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that I had a beehive here inside my heart. And the golden bees were making white combs and sweet honey from my old failures.

Last night, as I was sleeping, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that a fiery sun was giving light inside my heart. It was fiery because I felt warmth as from a hearth, and sun because it gave light and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, as I slept, I dreamt — marvelous error!– that it was God I had here inside my heart.

by Antonio Machado (translated by Robert Bly

This is one of my most beloved poems. It speaks to my heart and enlivens my spirit in a way that is deeply personal and universal at the same time.

I just love the image of golden bees making sweet honey from all of my old failures! Rather than focusing on the way failure tests your mettle as fire does to steel, the poet looks in the direction of the heart and speaks of sweetness and honey. Jackets insulated “The heart, like the grape, is prone to delivering its harvest in the same moment that it appears to be crushed. parajumpers The beehive in your heart is humming precisely because of those failures.” from Ten Poems to Change Your Life by Roger Housden.

When I first read these lines years ago, warmth filled my heart as I saw more clearly than ever that somehow everything in my life has it’s own unique place. Imagine the possibility that even the most difficult, dark or disappointing experience can be the raw material that surfaces with the sweetness of honey. There is a wholeness, an ecology to our experience.

Lessons from the Kingfisher


Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

    As Kingfishers Catch Fire By Gerard Manley Hopkins As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; As tumbled over rim in roundy wells Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name; Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is me: for that I came. What a magnificent creature…the Kingfisher! My first encounter with the Kingfisher, both poem and bird, was when David Whyte recited Gerard Manley’s poem at a gathering I attended some years ago. mu legend redzen online By the way, if you have never heard David Whyte recite poetry, his own and his favorites from others, you must add that experience to your bucket list. belts small accessories But I digress….the Kingfisher flies, swoops, dives, and catches fish. cheap mu legend zen This is what he came to do…so he does it with grace, with ease and with great skill. ugg bailey bow dot The Kingfisher fishes, as does the blue pelican. Even the stone rings out it’s song tumbling down a well in a way that is completely natural for the stone. cheap mu legend redzen Salmon swim upstream to the natal river where they were born in order to spawn. Everything on earth expresses it’s inner essence, no questions asked–except for us! We human beings somehow have to search for who we are and what we are here to do.

Remind Me

lovely autumn

Remind Me

by Sharon Keys Seal


when our fragile friendship

sprouts tendrils of trust

and we begin to venture

beyond that which we

so cheerfully and carefully present,

remind me to share my many

foibles, adventures,

fears and dreams.

We are each more

and less

than others see.

Cherished is that friend

who knows without asking

who that real self might be.

Through your eyes

and in the telling,

I remember who. I am,

coming full circle back

to recognize

myself anew.

This poem takes my breath away each time I read it. mu legend zen What an exquisite expression of friendship….that deep bond that grows gently to encircle us with love and acceptance. Cheap MU Legend Items For me, it captures the essence of the special kind of loving friendship called Anam Cara, which means “soul friend” in the Celtic spiritual tradition. mu legend zen for sale The gift of an Anam Cara sweetens our life because she sees us in full… “beyond what we so cheerfully and carefully present.” This cherished friend “knows without asking who that real self might be,” offering the safe space to “remember who I am, coming full circle back to recognize myself anew.”

Sharon Keys Seal is a beautiful and wise woman with the soul of a poet. We’ve gotten to know each other as colleagues on the faculty of the Georgetown Leadership Coaching program. It was just last week that Sharon revealed that she is also a poet. Gifted with special powers of expression and imagination, her words touch me profoundly deepening my knowing of Self and the world.

21st Century Leadership: Would Google Hire You?


In last week’s blog, I shared Ben Franklin’s advice to the members of the Constitutional Convention to suspend the certainty of their positions and look forward toward the emerging future. Jackets insulated Don’t you think this is wise guidance for us today? 21st leadership calls us to be lovers of learning, to be curious and open to possibilities previously unseen….to suspend certainty and look to the emerging future. A couple of days after posting Ben Franklin’s advice, I read Tom Friedman’s piece in the NY Times on “How to Get a Job at Google.” Guess what…Google, one of the world’s most successful companies, hires people who are able to suspend certainty and look to the emerging future! Laszlo Bock, the senior VP of people operations at Google declares that “the least important attribute we look for is expertise. Certainly, if we’re looking to fill a technical role, people need math and computing and coding skills, but the company is looking for a lot more.” The number one thing looked for is general cognitive ability, which is not the same as IQ. It’s learning ability—the ability to process on the fly, to pull together disparate pieces of information. They seek people who love learning and re-learning. mu legend redzen for sale Secondly, Google looks for emergent leadership—a sense of responsibility to step in and try to solve any problem and the humility to step back and embrace better ideas of others. Innovation is a group endeavor requiring humility and ownership—a powerful combination. Without intellectual humility, you can’t learn. If you already think you “know” (or that you must act as if you know), you’ll be blind to new possibilities. Leadership in the 21st century is not the work of one great leader, it is a group endeavor requiring collaboration, adaptability, and curiosity that creates the spaciousness that allows new ideas to be born.

don’t establish the boundaries


the squares, triangles, boxes

or preconceived possibility,

and then


life into them, trimming

off left-over edges,

ending potential.


All’s Right with the World!

Цветы на полях



Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don’t go, Denver Nuggets

after all,

from bad to worse. Some years, Nike Air Jordan 6 Womens

faces down frost; green thrives, Nike Air Jordan 1 Womens
the crops don’t fail,

sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;

elect an honest man; decide they care

enough, Utah State Aggies that they can’t leave some stranger poor.

Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go

amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.

The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow

that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.

I came across another poem called “Sometimes” that I want to share with you because it’s a wonderful reminder to notice when things go well….when our best laid plans actually work out….when good things happen. Womens Air Jordan 5 I had to read the first stanza of this poem twice to really get it, nike air max probably because I’m so accustomed to hearing the opposite message!

On this spectacular Autumn morning, Adidas NMD Heren our roses and petunias and marigolds are giving us a final burst of color; the chickadees are at the feeder as the chipmunk feeds on leftovers beneath; Charlie, Nike Air Jordan Mujer our cat, Keenan Robinson sleeps peacefully in a patch of sunlight on the patio.