Weeping Trees: The Healing Power of Nature

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The amazing Green Diva Meg at GreenDivas.com, has created a quick sketch video (one minute!) of me making one of my watercolor/calligraphy cards, so exciting for me! It gave me a whole new and fun perspective on my work :) I hope you’ll watch it!

Also check out a be-you-tiful online course for Mothers and Daughters at the bottom of this post. There’s a generous discount code for all Nothing Short of Joy subscribers :)

Now for our regularly scheduled program… ;) my blog post: 

%22The Tree Couple.%22One of our trees, a Weeping Grandma Cherry, is losing limbs, losing life. I’m embarrassed by the flood of emotion… and I find myself hiding the tears. As I catch my breath, though, there is so much more to the story. There always is.

My hubby, Bill, has been warning me about her demise for years now, but I refused to believe him. He’d first declared it without much compassion, as if her death was a bother. It would cost money. It might fall on the garage. It might hit one of the kids.

Grandma Cherry Tree

See her sweet face?

Year after year, I’ve sat and recharged in her quiet shade, gathering my heart, breathing out the overwhelm, breathing in the peace. I’ve smiled into her gnarly face wondering how to practice her stillness. Under her calming pink parasol, I’ve written out my hopes and dreams. I’ve wept out my fears, anger, and despair.

Today, I wept for her. For the mysteries. For the violence. For the journey. For my Dad.

So many sad goodbyes in life – to those who move where I cannot go. These deep rules of heaven and earth, hidden in the rough bark of life. They leave their love, clues, and gifts in our own backyard.

“Everything I let go of has claw marks on it.Anne Lamott

One morning last year, as I was letting our dog, Merlin, outside, I was crushed by the sight – our restless neighbor had chopped down the colossal lilac between our yards. I reeled back in disbelief. In sobs. Every spring I’d reveled in this lilac’s scented curls. I’d gleefully waited like a kid, for her bountiful blossoms. I’d placed gushing vases in the kitchen and the bedroom just so I could bury my grin into her glorious purple perfume. The blissful smell of God-ness.

I couldn’t look at my neighbor for days.

amber sapAnd now our treasured Cherry is getting ready to fly away. Poison Ivy is creeping up her trunk, as if she has already been reclaimed by a greater night. Her amber blood oozes out from craggily warrior skin. As I run my hand across her Braille bark, some part of my soul understands the big Book of hers. Her silence craves a home in me.

For seventeen years we’ve been held safe in this home, this yard. My boys used to touch the cherry’s soft sap, in wide-eyed amazement. And after it hardened in the sun, they’d run their fingers over it’s glossy smile. They’d tug on her leggy branches to make it snow petals on their heads.

“Vulnerability is a portal to a deeper power.” Chameli ArdaghOne Spring, back when my sixteen-year-old was four, the wind was kicking up a perfect petal blizzard. My boy took one look and scampered toward the back door. As he burst outside, the sun simultaneously came out from behind the clouds. I called to him, “the sun came out just as you did!” He yelled back, “yeah, that’s because it didn’t see me before!” Then he ran through Grandma’s pink waterfall, with arms and heart open wide.

He believed, quite naturally, that the Sun cared. For him. That the Sun saw. Who he was. That God placed the sun and the stars and old cherry trees, for us. And these things, pulsing with life, somehow love us, because Life loves us. My boy didn’t question the synchronicity that day. Why do I question my grief when I’m feeling adrift? When the world isn’t what I want it to be?

I realize I’m trying to hold on to what was never mine to keep.

%22Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop. .....~Rumi

When I hold on tight, it hurts more. That includes feelings. When I ignore ‘em, they’ll spew forth at the most inappropriate people and places. They’ll create dis-ease. They’ll separate me from me, and me from you.

Rejected emotions, like abandoned
inner kids, need to be accepted,
heard and honored. No matter how
old or annoying. Tears calm the
inner tantrum and clear the mind.
They set the pain free so we can let go. So we can trust the circle of life, again.

Until the next season.

“You have to feel it to heal it.”Our culture teaches us, and especially burdens our menfolk, with the notion that vulnerability makes us weak. I realize that this is hogwash… but… I still find myself ashamed of my deepest feelings, even though I feel stronger after I’ve acknowledged them. Even though they make me the most real. They deepen my compassion. Our common humanity. They open us up and pull us together, where we belong. As one.

 Cherry Tree Spence

My oldest sitting in our Cherry tree

I’m such a sapling.

Fortunately, I’ve had a loving Mom who knew the truth about feelings. But even with her gentle encouragement over the years to “have a good cry,” I still resist. And then a few days ago, Grandma Cherry dropped a limb right near my youngest son and his friend. And the dam broke.

“It’s time,” Grandma seemed to say, “to let go. Of the sadness you’ve been stuffing. Let it be.”

%22Everything happens for you, not to you.Byron Katie


I walk toward our three towering Mama Maples, who solemnly bear witness with me, bowing to Grandma. We watch her from afar, as if we might catch a glimpse of some holy spirit leaving us. As if the quiet would give up her secrets.

I remember the mourning dove pair that perches together on her high curves, and the crow clan that loves to gab and laugh up there. I return to these natural joys, often, when the world seems off it’s nut.

I wipe away the last of my tears. I hope my neighbors aren’t watching :)

Then I picture, said neighbors, joining me, without judgment or shame, to circle around Grandma, around the confounding mysteries, around the people and the things we love so fiercely. Around the life that can no longer be. Around the Greater Love that will always be.

I imagine the earth’s light coming up through our feet. Lifting us. The world. Higher – above the pain and the losses, to the joy beyond them all.

I thank the lilacs that once loved us, trees that breathe us alive, kids that teach us, a world that needs us, and Dad’s and weeping Cherry’s that leave us… better than we were before.

 I have watched the trees when they pray

click on the pic to read the poem :)


by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust, equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines, they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say that they save me, and daily. I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment, and never hurry through the world but walk slowly, and bow often. Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches. And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”


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Wishing you
green, green meadows,
cooling shade,
summer fun,
and wide open sky…

Signs from Dad: Finding Blessings in the Broken Places

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%22To these memories I will hold. I bid you all a very fond farewell. Billy BoydI’ve been wanting to write to you about my Dad ever since he slipped into the great beyond last year. Sitting here at the keyboard, biting my lip, I’m intimidated and perplexed as to how to tackle something so big. A whole lifetime. A sudden loss.

I’m worried my words won’t do him justice. My feelings are too fumbled. I keep rereading my straggly sentences – and deleting. Grief is such an uncharted journey. What I thought I understood about saying goodbye, pales in comparison to the reality. The questions. The unknown.

So I hang on to the signs.

The morning after Dad died, feeling shocked and heartbroken, I asked him to please send a sign that he was watching over Mom – that his spirit was alive and well. That we’d all be ok.

As I sent the prayer, I pushed the backdoor open to let our dog out, and there was sudden thunderous honking from a long V of Canadian geese! They were flying very low, the lead goose cresting right over our home – I flinched in surprise, but my heart hit the sky! I cried and I laughed – it felt jubilant! Triumphant! Holy! Dad’s answer was swift, certain and celebratory – a lot like he was. Is. A free bird!

%22We go to the grave saying, ‘A man is dead,’ but angels throng about him saying, ‘A man is born’.Henry Ward Beecher








Canadian geese are residents at my favorite pond, and after years of taking personal days there, to sit, write and just be, they feel like friends.

Julie & geese Hedden copy

That’s me and my winged friends at the pond :)

Last year, we even untangled a little gosling caught in fishing line. So on that bleak morning, a raucous and victorious V was the perfect messenger :)

In fact, Dad kind of reminds me of those geese. They can be bold and fierce – they’re not afraid to stand up for themselves or their goslings. They’re protective and proud parents (who are known to be black and white.) They hail from Canada where my mom’s family, and now all our families, have a very special summer cottage.

Since the first day without Dad, and that striking sign, I continue to ask for God’s reassurance that Dad hasn’t really left our lives. And Dad never disappoints. When I’ve asked, he has landed a flaming red dragonfly on my finger, sent sand dollars in ocean waves, perched a hawk right outside my window, and drawn a rainbow hawk in the clouds. (When I was a girl, his name in our Indian Princess tribe was “Thunder Hawk.”)

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. ~Tagore

%22fire rainbow hawk






A few weeks ago, I had four blissful days to myself while cat-sitting at a friend’s. The morning I was leaving, I happened to read a post from Karen Noe’s newsletter ~ she recommended asking our loved ones for *without a doubt* signs that they are still with us.

So as I drove over to kitty-sit, I asked Dad for just that. Later in the day, I walked out into my friend’s beautiful backyard and noticed the woodpile. I thought Dad might send a chipmunk, which I adore. Although I don’t see them that often, I then dismissed them as too common to be *indisputable.*

But as I continued to walk, a chipmunk did pop up by the house… and then ran straight at me! I froze in place half wondering if a shy chippy would zip right over for a cuddle. It came within five feet. Wow. As it ducked under the shed, I laughed to myself… but not so sure that this was my sign.

Within a minute, something caught my eye in a nearby birch tree. I don’t know why I noticed it, really – the soft blush color was well hidden amidst the white and gray. As I walked closer, though, I saw her – the sweetest baby robin seamlessly camouflaged in the birch! See her? So precious, she melted my heart. The fuzzy white tuffs of new feathers were softly blowing in the breeze. Awwwwww! (You can see a quick video of her here, close-up! Sorry the video is sideways, I was too excited to realize!)

baby robin camouflaged

beautifully camouflaged baby robin :)

This is Dad’s work! He knows I’m a sucker for nature’s babies! I marveled and cooed and appreciated and photographed that adorable little robin.

As I turned to walk away, thrilled in my treasured discovery, a shadow from above caused me to look up, and there it was: a majestic great blue heron sailing across the sky! Another one of my heroines from my favorite pond. I could just imagine Dad cheering and laughing along with me!

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. Shakespeare

An old photo of my boys watching a V of geese!

Dad knows what I love, and from his heavenly place of camouflage, he speaks fluent heron, chipmunk & baby bird. He hit a loving triple play that afternoon, speaking *indisputably* to my soul.

Keep ‘em coming, Dad. I love you so much.

%22For all that has been - thanks! To all that shall be - yes! Dag Hammarskjold

wishing you victorious signs, comfort, and lotsa love, 

Julie signature copy

P.S. I wanted to invite you to a free online summit called,

The Intuitive Child, Nurturing The Inner Wisdom Within

❤  The Intuitive Child is hosted by my wonderful colleague, Abby Gooch, the founder of Life Force Connection. She’s a talented intuitive coach who helps her clients listen to, trust and act on the guidance their intuition provides.

I’ll be one of the 21+ speakers, so I hope you can join us! I’m looking forward to listening to all the interviews myself :)  Please register here. ❤ 

%22how fortunate are you and I who’s home is timelessness we who have wandered down.e.e.cummings

The Queen of Autumn: Leaf Piles and Present Moment Magic

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How beautifully leaves grow old(Originally posted at my Huffington Post Blog in 2011!)

As my neighbors grumble about the leaves covering their lawn, my boys wait wide-eyed, with mighty rakes in their hands. The time is here; our delicate Japanese maple has finally shed enough of her red robe for a ginormous leaf pile.

Our maple stands on duty, everyday, a quiet nanny to a neighborhood of fast friends. She stoops down low for even the smallest of sneakers to scale and reaches high enough for the bigger kids to walk on air.

As the seasons move past, dependable and reassuring, she’s alive in our photos: summer kids dangling like earrings from her limbs, green leaf stew at her feet. There are winter snowmen around her waist and a count down to Christmas in her ears.

But her infamous time of year is Now, when ruby-red leaves dance and drop from her skies. The dogwood nearby offers a generous contribution and the old oak by the street throws in her golden leaves. But no one is fooled. We all know who is really Queen of Autumn.

autumn maple n snow

Our autumn maple in an early snowfall, 2011

“We can rake now, right Mom?” my ten-year-old asks as he watches a squirrel tight rope through our bare maple. “Yup we definitely have enough leaves,” I answer, as he breaks for the garage. “C’mon Ky, let’s get the rakes!” My six-year-old scurries behind him, a bagel in hand, no shoes on his feet.

I grab my camera and step out front. Long rake handles appear first, bobbing above our front bushes, taller than both boys combined. As the work begins, our maple occasionally catches their hair in her branches or snags the wooden handles. Nothing inconveniences the boys, though, as they move with purpose and enthusiasm. Spencer tugs at the glorious crimson carpet, sweat beading on his forehead, as our maple exhales oxygen and inhales CO2 in a beautiful exchange.

From across the street, our twin nine-year-old neighbors, Manuela and Thomas, spot the fun and rush to join the leaf brigade. Thomas refuels the effort where Ky has petered out. “We can make a pile as high as the house!” he yells with glee. Spencer’s tired rake is reluctantly passed off to Manuela, who moves with invigorating new purpose. A monstrous pile is built.

autumn 1

Can you find all three faces…

My maple and I smile with motherly pride. Appreciating the present moment, I remember where peace and joy resides. “I jump first!” Spence yells. “Second!” Ky pipes in. “Third!” “Fourth!” Thomas and Manuela add. Our eight-year-old neighbor Danny suddenly runs into the yard yelling, “Fifth!”

I balance my smiling camera as Bill comes to enjoy the spectacle. Like our maple, the kids stand ready for the joy ahead, for snuggling in next year’s shade, for the long upward climb into adulthood.

We watch as Spence backs way up to begin his debut run. He takes off with a bang and then, with an enormous leap and a giggly shout, he dives head first into the autumn womb.

“Laughing is jogging on the inside

With laughter spilling around like sunshine, I feel reconnected with it all. The smell, the crunch, the gratitude for a world breathing in and out. I have the boys to thank. They won’t let their childhood pass us by too quickly. At least not today.

Soon our maple will be hailing the holidays, branches lined with elegant white snow. Although I may get distracted by the busyness, scurrying to get it all done,  I can count on our maple to etch our lives in peace.

In the years ahead, as our sons find new joy and work in this world, Bill and I want to be there with them, celebrating each new season of their lives. All the while we’ll remember the days of autumn leaf piles when friends and family (and an elegant Japanese maple) were there to steady our souls.

Be like a tree, let the dead leaves drop. .....~Rumi

“Everything I let go of has claw marks on it.Anne Lamott

Let it go,

let it be,

for love,



Surrendering to the Present Moment …for Parents, Caregivers and other Control-Freaks

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Wayne DyerI want to take a moment, before my post, to bid a fond farewell to the beloved Wayne Dyer who passed into the Great Beyond Sunday, Aug 30th, 2015, on the heels of a supermoon. I felt so shocked & saddened by the news… but I also feel a thrill for Wayne on his continued journey into the light. It makes me smile thinking of his reunion with his mom and with the father he never knew. Six years ago, Wayne gave me my first big break by endorsing my memoir and later inviting me on stage with him, in front of 1000 people! It was the first time I’d ever spoken to an audience… (here’s the short video his daughter Skye took of me~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0BjCw_uZdM.) I was a bundle of nerves, but I was also utterly inspired by Wayne’s belief in me. And I did it! He showed me I could. I’ll never forget him and the divine gifts he left behind. I love you, Wayne. God speed!


And now for my regularly scheduled program : )

“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. Larry Eisenberg

“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.” 

Oh if only I would.

It’s been an emotional month for my family. As a result, I’ve been wrestling with a personal delusion I’ve long clung to ~ the belief that somehow, through my own great love, effort and awareness, I can control my life, my husband’s life and my boys life so we’re all happy, healthy and safe. Forever.

Herein lies a big problemo.

What can I do (or stop doing) when darkness knocks on their door and I can’t make it go the hell away?

Just two months ago I was lounging in my wonderful friend Kimberly’s pool. Despite the grief surrounding my Dad’s passing, I felt some comfort believing that life wouldn’t dare hurt me again for a very long while. (I was wrong.) Nonetheless, I was soaking in the elation of a five day soul-o retreat while Kim was on vacation. The quiet time is an unimaginable, indescribable, spine-tingling joy. I’m in awe of this remedy back to myself and back to what matters.

The miracle . . . is being alive to it all. Even to the insects. I kid you not.

On my second day away, I decide to cool off in the pool. Immediately I see a beetle madly paddling in the blue. The desperate swimmer kinda draws me in. I grab a leaf from the side of the pool and let the beetle climb aboard. I deliver it to the warm cement and then turn around just in time to spot another bug. Sigh.

I rescue the other bug and transport it back to terra firma. And because in my glorious days of nothingness, I am free to do anything at all, I watch this bug. Closely. And you know what? It’s like opening the weirdest gift. I pinky swear.

I watch the bug lift her hair-thin arms and carefully clean her antennae, face and head. Then she balances on her arms and uses her wispy little legs to wipe every other part of her crunchy little form. From tip to stern, top to bottom, she shakes off her brush with death. She test pumps her caboose and then runs toward the grass. How do those teensy appendages work so perfectly?

To protect what is wild. Terry Tempest Williams

The next bug I bump into is a goner. I bring it to the side of the pool, anyway, so I don’t end up wearing it. It’s a sweet black beetle with two red polka dots on her back. I return to the blue for another bug I’d seen. This one has flatlined, too. But when I go to scrape it off my oak-helicopter, an antenna suddenly pops up from its previously slicked back position. Then an arm twitches and slowly swipes down along the antenna. The other antenna spoings forward.

Slowly, this miniature chlorinated creature begins to rejuvenate right before my eyes. Call me crazy, but it’s mesmerizing.

I start rooting for the bug.

Like the other critter, with great precision and rhythm, it brushes it’s little black hairs, over and over. It’s movements look almost . . . human. In a creepy-crawlie kinda way, of course. Still, it stops me cold.

surrender to love. Let it go

Then I notice that the reverse lady-bug with the red dots, who appeared dead as a doornail, is crawling across the cement. Whoa. I watch it check it’s wings for flight and then it buzzzzzes away.

Looking out across the pool, I’m now actually searching for victims to airlift. And I’m gigglesnorting. It feels a little ridiculous . . . but it’s fun being a bug bus.

Google tells me there are 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) insects on earth. Seriously, that’s nineteen zeros. Why do we see insects as ‘pests’ when there would be no life here without them?

Stepping foot on planet earth means you’re gonna get seriously bugged. From every direction.

Recently, I heard myself whispering, “The world has gone half-crazy. How in heaven’s name do I keep my boys safe? Protect them from the struggles and the mountains of pain that humans face?”

Chaos is only an illusion. It's what you see when you can' t see far enough

Sunset at a recent BBQ at the lake. Whoa.

The only response, the truly sane, powerful and peaceful response, is letting go. Letting it all go.

Oh if only I could.

When life shocks and appalls me, my mind declares war. I armor up. Fears swarm around me in an exhausting and vigilant attack. To protect and defend. “I can fix this, I can solve this. It’s up to me, it’s up to ME!”

The truth is I am only in control of my response to life events, but I can’t duct tape the tides. I sometimes get these two subtleties confused.

I don’t always trust Grace to guide me. I rely on ME because it’s too scary to admit I don’t have control and that I’m just afraid of what lies ahead for me and the people I love. Eek.


So I let myself cry. And I pray. And I let go. And then I slowly recognize how far I’ve strayed from the power of the present moment. Those bugs slicking back their bristles. Getting on with life. Why can’t I?

In witnessing the mystery of those tiny beasts, I came alive, too. I saw beauty in something ugly. I felt compassion and awe. As I watched with full attention, I released the reigns that choke. I surrendered the idiocy of control. I remembered the glory and the simplicity of being a little bug bus.

At one point, I’d looked up from that pool and had seen this small pastel fire rainbow (in the photo.) Can my worries, even months later, compete with it?

Angels believe in you.Jan Phillips

See that lil pastel fire rainbow up there?

By allowing the vulnerability of being human, of brokenness, I gain the strength that lies behind it all. This gigantic life is not all up to me. The truth is sweet relief – fear doesn’t protect or pollinate. I gotta give up the urgency. The anguish. Give up the struggle. Give it all up.


So I can enjoy this walk on earth. So I can be present to it all. When I live with an open heart, I revive and reconnect to something bigger. Brighter. Wiser. Although I may try to grab back the throne & scepter tomorrow, I let ‘em go for now. I’m handing in my resignation (again) as controller of the cosmos.

It isn’t the events that drown us, it’s our fear that we cannot endure them, which leaves us out of breath.

Challenges and heartaches weren’t meant to be pests. They help us live with a brave heart and a greater capacity for love and acceptance. If the ‘lowly’ insects can see with an exceptionally wide-angled view, we can do it, too.

The choice is always there – to let what’s bugging us close our heart down OR to let adversity open our heart wider. Vulnerability brings the hard truth – this life is temporary and uncertain – but vulnerability can also bring the kind of joy that children feel. Delight still waits for us each day, even in the midst of despair. Especially then.

No matter how cold-hearted people can be, no matter how blindsided we’ve been, when we stand open in the present moment, the world is awash with wonders. A quintillion of them.

C’est la bee.


with love, 

and a deep bow to the mysteries,

❤ Julie

gosling 2 copy

Lil Goddess all grown up, beautiful (& flying like a pro!)


P.S. An update on Lil Goddess & our rescue mission (from my last post.) The whole Canadian goose family is doing well! Here are some photos and updates~

gosling foot 1 copy

Tears and punctures in her webbed foot. But they don’t stop her!



What Has You Hogtied? Rescuing a Peace of the Wild

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The Peace of the Wild Things Wendell Berry

Click on photo to enlarge (for easier reading!)

After a painful money-argument with the hubster, I head to my favorite park for some healing perspective. As I leave, Bill tries to hand me two slices of his homemade whole wheat bread for the ducks. I pull the door shut in response.

At the pond, I immediately spot the gorgeous great blue heron. The sight of her, and this natural world, always wows me. My breath deepens.

The ducks and geese bring their downy babies. Their seamless water-wake further muffles my turmoil. I throw a few paltry pieces of sandwich crust, wishing I’d taken Bill’s peace offering.

I notice one gosling, swimming alone. When she finally comes to the water’s edge, she can barely stand. She struggles up and plunks down. Up and down until she loses her footing and tumbles back down the embankment. Oh no! The mama goose squawks and runs alongside her baby, helpless.

My heart has dashed outside my body and wrapped itself around this gosling goddess. Animals have always captured my soul. Once, while trying to rescue a fish that was dangling on a hook and line, stuck in branches, I fell into a very stinky pond. The camera in my pocket was never the same. But the fish was freed.

Finally the lil trouper gosling goes up, down, up, down and makes it to the grass. I exhale. I realize my stress won’t offer her strength. So I close my eyes and start sending healing energy. It’s all I’ve got. But according to our Dr. Emoto’s rice experiment, it’s enough.

As I call in the angels, the rest of the geese family continues grazing a few feet away. The diligent parents keep an eye on me. Eventually they relax and begin their extensive primping. I appreciate their trust.

The self I am when I listen… Nature is my wisest self made visible outside of me.Edveeje Fairchild

The Lil Goddess grazes and preens, too, but in an odd sitting position. She seems unfazed. Maybe her leg is just sprained.

The other goslings slowly move behind me, as they graze. Lil Goddess awkwardly inches in their direction and ends up right in front of me, only a foot away.

I am in love.

I continue my prayers. Then Lil Goddess starts peeping softly at my feet. I open my eyes and get the distinct feeling I need to WATCH. LOOK. I stare at the adorable fur ball and breathe. As she tries again to stand (but can’t) I see it. There’s a fish hook in one webbed foot and it’s attached to taut fishing line that’s binding the other leg.

Oh no, help!

I need Bill.

I phone in the troops. Ten minutes later, my family arrives, ready for action. Bill has various tools, and those two slices of bread. My anger has washed away.

It can sound selfish to take a break or go off to a quiet place. But as soon as you do sit still.Pico Iyer

One son has two pole grabbers (which I use to reach things at home) in case we need to fend off panicked geese parents.

My family huddles for the game plan. My oldest and I will use the bread to lure the geese further onto the grass. Bill and my youngest will fall in behind Lil Goddess and grab her. Gently.

Hoo boy, I’m nervous. Geese can be fierce and we’re about to break their trust. There must be twenty other geese hanging out in the shade ten feet away. Will they attack when we grab the goddess?

Suddenly one of the geese parents lets out a HOWLING HONK and dashes straight at Bill, who is now holding Lil Goddess – he got her! Bill hands her to my youngest (who is thrilled) as my oldest continues to throw bread, grabbers at the ready.

But the geese parents are suddenly uncharacteristically quiet and polite. Maybe they know we’re here to help?

Bill and I get to work.

Lil Goddess squirms at first but then relaxes. The barbed hook has left several holes in her black webbing and is presently piercing through two spots. Bill starts to snip the hook and gently ply and weave until . . . it’s out!

We switch to the other leg to remove the fishing line. It’s a tangled mess, and it’s very tight on her leg. Bill clips carefully at a few spots and, at last, I find an end to unwind and unwind and unwind until . . . it’s off! There are deep indentations where the line had been constricting her. Ouch. But there aren’t any serious wounds. Phew.

My youngest sets her down and she runs for her family. Free at last!


Other than a slight limp, Lil Goddess is looking dandy . . . and no one was goosed. Mission accomplished, on several levels.

I came to the pond hoping to free myself. Life gave me an unexpected opportunity to offer freedom, instead. Without my having to try, it came back around and released me from my anger. It’s still astonishing how that works.

Don't just do something. Sit there

Bill gives me a hug as my family leaves the sanctuary. In my quiet hours ahead, the goose family comes and goes several times. Each time, Lil Goddess lags five minutes behind. Aw. My heart can so relate.

I spent my childhood feeling I could never keep up with my peers, my life. I thought I would always stumble and fall, up, down, up, down, because of my arthritis and dwarfism.

Lil Goddess’s predicament echoed my own binding BS (Belief Systems). When I feel fear (False Evidence Appearing Real,) and I withhold love from anyone, I deprive myself. It’s an angry tangled mess.

What has you hogtied?

My mind often insists that I should analyze and solve my problems, with fierce focus, by myself. Independent. An island. Alone.

But believing in that separation is exhausting. It’s a blindfold to the ocean of help around and within me.

When I go outdoors, I pause. Watch. Breathe. Be. Somewhere in the breeze, the rippling water, the bird’s song – my mind’s fearful grip is lulled to sleep. BS can’t hold up against the vastness. My soul can re-enter and peace returns. I peep quietly at the feet of majesty. 

You do not sit down and solve problems. Thomas Merton

When we yield to the present moment, we naturally offer our love and care to the world. We are freed from worry by resting in the Oneness that we truly are. Our aliveness is always patiently waiting in the wild wings.

A lil webbed goddess showed me that.

before rescue rangers copy

Lil Goddess before the M.A.S.H rescue mission 


after the rescue copy 

Lil Goddess grazing, afterward 


resting after the rescue copy

The family of geese resting together, after the rescue : )

with abundant love and downy peace,


If you liked this story, you might also enjoy these past posts:

Where True Control Really Lies and Celebrating Everyday Miracles & Mother Nature’s Magic

Dancing at the Division of Motor Vehicles: Transforming Drudgery into Joy

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Don't quit your daydreamI‘ve no choice. An hour ago, Bill found out he’ll be away on business all week. My license has to be renewed and I do not want to drag my boys along with me. Ugh.

It’s lunchtime…on a Friday…at the end of the month, and I’m driving to the DMV. As I’m complaining to myself about the dreaded lines, sour faces and stale air, I suddenly stop. Why am I playing the victim? There’s power in our intentions. If I don’t want a rain dance; I’d better start imagining a sunny salsa. So, I ask my angels to help me get the party started at the DMV.

Maybe I’ll meet some great people. We’ll talk and laugh and the time will fly. “Wow the line is moving so fast,” we’ll say. “Just look at how efficient and friendly the employees are. The DMV has never operated so beautifully!”

When I pull into the parking lot, my happy hula dashes on the pavement. The place is so packed that people are parking on the street. Yikes. I spy one parking place and zip in. I’m re-inspired. This is going to be good.

As a man and a woman walk in ahead of me, we smile at each other and mosey up to the same line. Soon enough, we are joking and laughing about all the paperwork we had to gather to prove our identity. The man comments on how quickly the long line is moving.  The boogie has begun.

I glance over at the two women in charge of this first line. One is somber Sally who rarely looks up. The other looks like Joan Rivers; she’s animated and engaged. I’d rather rumba with her.

As the two new friends ahead of me land with Sally, I mambo up to Joan. “Hi!” I say with cheer. “Well hello there, sweetheart! How are ya?” Joan asks. “I’m great, thanks! This line is moving so quickly, thanks to you.” “Just wait for the next line,” she warns. “Well I can still hope!” I add with a laugh.

Adversity isn't a disadvantage. It's a doorway. We get to decide how to interpret the dance.” unknown

Joan is a hand-jive expert as she clips and flips my dance cards. “Okay, babe, head on over to the next line and wait to be called.”

“Wow,” I say as I leave, “you’re good – thank you so much!”

Before I get far, I hear a loud call. “JUL-I-A!” I turn to find Joan sashaying toward me. “Will you be paying with check, cash or credit?” she asks. “Oh credit,” I answer, as Joan and I move toward the counter where everyone wants to be. “Okay, doll, wait right over there,” Joan says, as she points toward the crowd, “You’ll be called in a few.”

A few?

That’s DMV lingo for an hour. I sit down next to a pale looking soul and ask how long she’s been waiting. “Forty-five minutes,” she drones and looks away. As I reach for my book, I hear the loud speaker: “JULIA BOND GENOVESE, line five please.”


I find line five. There’s no one in it. An employee with a disco smile asks for my Visa. She shuffles my papers and types away as I chat with a woman in the conga line next to me.

A minute later, I’m handed my Visa and my new license. I look up in shock. “Am I done?” “Yup,” she says with pearly pride. Whoa. It’s been only fifteen minutes.

As I watusi out the doors, I realize it must have been Joan. I feel as if she personally awarded me the Mirrorball Trophy. I drive home in amazement. My intention worked. I asked for fun and an angel two-stepped in.

We are so full of holes we become holy

Suddenly I realize I didn’t thank Joan! I am a dance school drop-out, an ingrate! At home I grab a copy of my memoir, Nothing Short Of Joy, and start to write an inscription. To my DMV angel? I don’t know how to address her so I leave a space and head back to DMV.

When I arrive, I see Joan and throw my arms wide and yell, “THANK YOU SO MUCH!” As we hug, I tell her that she gave me the most magical DMV experience ever. She whispers in my ear, “It’s a two hour wait today, sweetheart. I just couldn’t do it to you.”

We say goodbye, but as my spirit pirouettes toward the door, I hear a familiar call from my angel, “JUL-I-A!” As I turn toward her light, she throws a kiss and shouts, “God Bless you!”

Joan’s real name? It was Angela. Because even at the DMV, angels are always ready to dance.

Take the high road

Enjoy your dance with the divine today,

with much love & freedom = )


If you’re looking for some self-help inspiration, check out the Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Giveaway. There are tons of freebies available – Health, Wealth, Personal Fitness & Business Building Gifts. There is also some hype to wade through (sorry) and you have to register, but it’s worth it for the amount of info available. You can always unsubscribe after you find the good stuff. Be well! xoxox

Offers from the Heart – Michelle Martin Dobbins

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We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too.Kristin Martz copy

Hey Wondrous Wayfinder,

A few weeks back, I was a guest blogger at the marvelous Michelle Martin Dobbins’ blog, DailyAlchemy.comand now she is visiting here, wOOt-wOOt!

Here’s Michelle, in her own wise words : )

Offers From the Heart

Wanna know a secret? I hate to write guest blog posts. Well, hate is a strong word but as much as I love to share my work, guest blog posts tend bring up old stories for me about whether or not what I have to offer is adequate. I tend to feel that I must deliver something worthy of the blog and its readers and I start putting pressure on myself to make sure I deliver. Then, guess what? I can’t write.

I love to write and I’m usually making little notes constantly about ideas I want to share, but when I put pressure on myself to perform it jams up the creative process. It’s a sure sign that I have my focus on how I will be perceived instead of what value I can provide.

This week, I’ve been pondering what I could share that would be worthy of Julie’s audience. Finally, I remembered this: whenever we offer our gifts from our heart, what we offer is always worthwhile. My job is to offer my abilities freely. My job is not to judge what I offer or attempt to offer a gift that is what I believe others want. I just need to offer what comes from my heart.


When I started Daily Alchemy, my blog, two years ago, I wasn’t selling anything. I had no books, no services and no products so I decided I would showcase other people’s “stuff.” If I met someone online via social media or through their blog and I liked what they were offering, I would immediately invite them to be interviewed or write a guest post on my blog.

I still love to do this because I enjoy offering my platform to folks, like Julie, who I know will benefit my readers. It’s wonderful because everyone involved wins. At times, I’ve found myself feeling insecure offering my blog to potential guest writers but I never had anyone say no. Even if they did, say, refuse my offer, it would have been for their own reasons and not a sign that the offer wasn’t worthy.

I always offer for two reasons; I love their work and I feel my audience would benefit from connecting with them. So even though it’s always a little scary to make these offers, I continue to do it when heart tells me to. Here’s the surprise bonus, I have made the best friendships from reaching out to people and offering them whatever I could. The only negative has been when I judged my own offer or neglected to make an offer. When my brain said my audience isn’t big enough to benefit them or what I have to offer isn’t enough.

You don’t have to be a writer in a creative field to offer your heart and your assistance to others. In fact, sharing who we are is what makes our world work. Reaching out and making connections, whether they be business connections, friendship connections, or romantic connections, makes life better for everyone.


Here are 4 reminders for making sure you share your essence with the world:

1. Make Offers. When you get a nudge to make an offer, do it. Maybe it’s an offer to hire someone for a job, to take them to lunch or promote their work. Follow that nudge from your heart quickly before the gremlins start talking. Don’t offer what you believe someone would want, offer what you feel led to share. Take time to listen to your inner guide and you will know how you can bless others and it will always bless you too.

2. Accept Offers. If someone has made an offer to you, sincerely consider it. That doesn’t mean all offers will be a good fit, but don’t dismiss them because you feel insecure or because you don’t think the person offering has enough to offer. I take people up on offers based on how they feel. Say yes to everything that resonates, but don’t overwhelm yourself.

3. Keep Playing. Keep making connections. The fear never fully goes away but connecting with other people is worth the risk. For every connection that doesn’t pan out, another will change your life. Put yourself out there and be brave. It will widen your circle of influence and it will bless the world. It’s a win-win.

4. Don’t forget your worthiness: You have value and what you share with the world has value. If it doesn’t resonate with someone, don’t take it personally. We are all on different journeys and while our message and gifts aren’t going to be right for everyone, someone needs what we have to offer.

The best way to make sure what you are offering is going to reach the right person is to send it with love and no attachment to the outcome. May you share the light that is you and make our world a little brighter.



Michelle Martin Dobbins is an author, spiritual alchemist, & reiki master who shares true stories of magic, creation, and love in everyday life on her blog at www.dailyalchemy.com. She supports people to transform their lives using love and joy. You can connect with her and get motivational snippets throughout the day on Facebook ~(https://www.facebook.com/MichelleDobbinsAuthor) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MichelleDobbins).   You can get her Free Revamp Your Vibe eKit here~ (http://michellemartindobbins.com/get-your-happy-back/)

Should you ever find yourself on your path, moving along in spite of fear...Rise anyway.” Mike Dooley


Fire-Up 2015 – Simple Technique to Ignite the Light

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“What you appreciate - appreciates. Lynne Twist

Asking for help is humbling for me. But I’m trying to tear my old DIY badge off my t-shirt. So last week, I reached out for advice from a fabulous blogger, mamapreneur and writing teacher, Suzi Banks Baum at Laundry Line Divine. By allowing that relief, I’d no clue just how quickly the universe would be on the job.

Suzi listened lovingly to my woes about finding balance between home, biz and self-care. She gave me two suggestions. I also wear a badge of practicality so I’m all about homework. But. What seemed like slightly impractical ideas had my resistance popping up like a nervous prairie dog.

Her first suggestion, to feed my inner hunger, was to get together with a buddy and do art. Fun art, not “for sale” art. My shoulders slumped – I love creativity but I’ve no clue who this “buddy” would be…? Her second suggestion was to do something a little different, something new, everyday. It didn’t have to take long. And post it on FB for accountability’s sake. Okay – not sure what this will do, but I’m game.

Day One of “Do The New” ~ An old friend starts to chat on FB and suggests, out of the blue, that we should get together and make mandalas and artsy vision boards. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I feel the “New” creative powah winging in like a boomerang. THAT fast and I didn’t even try. Whoa.

Later that night more newness arrives as I’m staring sadly at our now crispy Christmas tree. I hate saying goodbye. The smell is one of my all time faves. Like camp fires, lilacs and butter in the frying pan. Then it hits me. Make a bag of pine-pourri! My spirits are immediately lifted. Now, anytime I need a pine-fix, I crush this big baggie of needles and snnnnniiiff in the goodness.

pine pourri

Day Two of “Do the Noob” ~ I set out to play with watercolors without needing to “produce” something “good.” (This is very new…) I go for rainbows, even though they are so unicorny. I hear my messy BS (Belief Systems) yammering, “you’re wasting time and expensive watercolor paper,” but I don’t listen. The exercise is a perfect foil for my lack-consciousness Bolshevik.

As I relax and let go, I create this meme about our powerful inner light. It makes me smile.

Whatever your past or your future, within you right now is a powerful light.Julie Bond Genovese

Out of the blue, I’m invited to be a guest at a book signing in NYC with Paul Williams (“The Rainbow Connection” song writer,) for his book Gratitude and Trust. The hubster and I have a new type of date!

Have a blind date with your infinite unknown self.Sara Deutsch

Day 3 – is a busy blur with my boys.

Day 4 – I take my big tub of marvelous markers & begin decorating my “Create Your Shining Year In Biz + Life workbook” from the magical Leonie Dawson. I generally resist a stodgy “year-end review.” My last blog post will give you the skinny. Finances make me fidget.


As I doodle on the pages of my workbook, I easy-pease my way into the tougher questions, and I find I’ve done a lot more this year than I’d realized! I was so focused on “what did NOT work” I could not see ALL that DID work. Old BS can sneak up kind of ninja-like – I didn’t even notice I’d ditched my rose colored glasses.

I’m feeling a new freedom creeping in.

“Where Attention goes Energy flows. James Redfield

Without realizing it, by putting my attention on simple joys, I’ve taken my attention OFF my trouble-spots. I, the health nut, eat dessert for dinner. A big hot fudge sundae with caramel, too. I suffer no ill effects. My boys love it. Out of the blue, two new coaching clients sign up for more sessions.

Day 5 – I dive back into my “Create Your Shining Year Workbook.” As I’m blessing my belly-flops from 2014, I remember I haven’t done a “Burning Bowl of BS (Belief Systems)” to let go of 2014. So yay! I write out my BS fears and darkness, and find many fun ways to say GOODBYE (toodle-lou, peace out, so-long-sucka, take care panda bear etc,) which immediately makes me snicker!

burning bowl of BS

Lightheartedness, a sure sign of being in the moment, is THE place of powerful creation. As the BS burns, I take a picture to share with Suzi. Then I notice the note which had said, “Good riddance perfectionism and not being good enough,” had one word left in red – DANCE.

burning bowl ceremony

Let’s rumba!

Day 6 – Driving my boys to their co-op, I decide my newbie d’jour will be to strike up a deeper conversation rather than just chit-chat. Whatdaya know, the yoga teacher is just leaving as I sit down and several of us get talking about the mind-body connection. Plus one of the co-op organizers asks about my motivational talk for the teens in the spring and boing! a New idea for it bounces in like a baby bunny.

Day 7 – We go to Paul Williams’ book signing ….and I give Paul a copy of my own memoir (I’m normally not so bold…) The hubster and I haven’t had a cool date in a long awhile.

Paul Williams

Holy Obi-Wan Kenobi. I put ‘New’ on my radar and my Reticular Activating System is manifesting ‘New’ like a Star Trek replicater. When we consciously shift our focus, the universe synchronizes to whatever we choose. It’s a magic mirror that, without judgment, shows how our thoughts, feelings and FOCUS are co-creative powerhouses.

Here are some of the fun synchronicities from my week…

1.) I couldn’t find my perfect “Word for 2015” to carry through the year. Then a wondrous woman named Zhi Bell, emailed and thanked me for the “BraveHeartisty” in my memoir. My new WORD!

2.) Hubster doesn’t necessarily relate to my deep need for creative-solitude. Then out of the blue (instead of out-of-oblivion, as Abraham Hicks says,) he suggests that we take 10 feet in the garage, wall it off and make an art/writing studio – just for moi. Shut the front door.

Goodies appearing “out of the blue” are just our thoughts, visions and joys catching up to us. They’ve come to meet their maker.

3) My last blog post was about keeping the heart open. I took this photo of the crystal bear with the rainbows it casts on the wall behind it. A green sparkly light appeared at the bear’s heart center. Aw!

4.) I asked for a sign from Mother Mary (a statue, a book – anything) that she is working behind the scenes with me and my boys. Today my son shows me a temporary tattoo he’d like on his wrist. He asks what it is, and I realize it’s a fleur-de-lis. My heart skips a beat. It’s Mary’s symbol. High five.

This has been a most excellent and heart-opening exercise! The best part is that it illustrates, to we recovering control freaks, that we do NOT have to force, bribe, manhandle or continually focus on “what we desire.” If you’re like me, you’ve already ASKED for certain dreams to manifest (like, a hundred times.) It’s time to chill and rest assured that Source is on it.

Go find something fun to do in the meantime. Focus on the New. Jump into Joy.

In that space of openness, our co-creative workshop is in full bloom, year round. Just plant a little joy at a time and watch ‘em all sprout up.

Joy for its own sake. What a concept.

Fab copy

My continued assignment for this week is “Find Your Fab!” Put this on YOUR daily ta-dah list and find an accountability partner. Or tag me on Facebook. With a “simple” shift in focus, watch how the universe will line up the fun and surprising brave-heartistry just for YOU.


w/love and rose colored spectacles,

Julie signature copy

Post Holiday Blues, Mindfulness and Keeping the Heart Open

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“Smile, Breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s usually sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Eve that my heart starts to close. As I unknowingly disconnect from home base, my BS upstairs tends to throw an embarrassing fiesta.

I barely notice the mindless partiers, at first. But as the holiday busy-ness winds down, I start tripping over their wicked heavy baggage. I feel sufficiently indignant, Grinchy and miffed, which only causes them to snuggle in closer.

There are good times, of course, but the holidays are also decked out in not-enough solitude, self-care or creative-time. This leaves the welcome mat wide open for past disappointments, high expectations and my BS (Belief Systems) to wipe their snowy feet.

Quietly ready to pop out from behind curtain #1 is the familiar BS – “I’m not enough” – and the scary feeling that my humanness is quite unsightly. “I didn’t give enough, spend enough, care enough or do enough.”

I do eat enough, however.

The goodies soothe the not-enoughness for exactly the same amount of time it takes to enjoy them. Someone called it filling “the God-sized hole.” (By the way, if you want a great book on emotional eating, I love Geneen Roth’s, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything.)

I often blog about the not-enough-crew, I speak about them, I invite them in for hot cocoa and cookies… but I still don’t want to accept that they are me… and that life can get confusing and dark in here sometimes. So I’m just not gonna be a happy joy machine, 24/7. Got it.


I’m lulled by the unrealistic picture perfect Christmas ….or a New Year of “All Your Dreams Come True!” ~ it’s in the media, magazines and the restless hum of more, more, more. I’ve let those promises give me hunger pangs for years. I dangle the fairytale out beyond my reach instead of truly loving what is right in front of my red nose.

By New Year’s Eve, I tend to be secretly pouting. Growing up, we always had a rousing celebration with our family friends – 16 of us at least. We’d play Charades, Pictionary, and cards, we’d sing around the piano and eat deli sandwiches with pickles and potato chips til 2am. We’d wake up in the morning to scrambled eggs and buttered toast and maybe go skating on the lake nearby. It was remarkable.

In stark contrast, my hubster and I tend to have a quiet evening at home with our two boys. It’s like any other night….except that we watch a big ball drop and a throng of folks freezing their buns off in Times Square. We mumble things like, “why on earth would anyone GO there? How do they get out of the city afterward? Aren’t they feeling claustrophobic? Crowd-aphobic?” But suddenly I find myself wishing we HAD made New Year’s Eve plans…

I heard Christmas music playing in Staples yesterday. And that pine-scented BS in me started to whine. Where’s the magic now? The presents? The happily ever after? Why does the wonder fade?

“You suffer because of the thoughts you believe. Byron Katie

Cue up BS #2 – “The happy times from childhood are gone, sister.” I fear that I’ll never be able to create a rockstar childhood for my boys, but that I should. (Note the “I’m not enough” wiggling back in here.) And, BS #3, “I must suck at mothering.” Right now I resent it (eek) and I wanna build a couch fort and retire from the whole parenting thing. Could someone else just step in and arrange a blissful, easy life for my boys, hubby and me? Oh and a long vacation in the Caribbean. Or Disney.

Next I feel inundated with New Year’s newsletters about resolutions, goal-setting and “Your best year yet!” and it makes my butt twitch. What about the stuff I didn’t make happen this past year? Do I put it on my list, again? Trust again? Just to disappoint myself again? Is a bliss-filled life unrealistic BS?

My drama queen chimes in with BS #4 – “It’s now or never, all or nothing.” When I’m feeling joyful and grand, I tend to believe that I will never, ever close my heart again. All will be merry and bright. Always. When I’m feeling down, though, I tell myself that I never really felt all that great in the first place. I’ve finally seen my true yucky nature and it isn’t princess material.

When I believe “I’m not enough,” I try to do more and be more. But when I do more, I feel overwhelmed and disconnected, and I feel like “I’m not enough,” and then I try to do more and…

You get the cycle.

Best solution? Extreme self care. When my messy mind gets a death grip on the wheel (tell-tale signs are hopelessness, blaming, eye-poking, candy-grabbing…) my heart needs to gently pry the grubby fingers off. For me that requires uninterrupted solitude. Lots of it. I need to breathe. Write. Draw. De-clutter. Lighten Up. Read. Meditate. Feel.

Slow down.

Eat simply.



So while Bill was home on vacay, I slept in and stayed in my polka dot pajamas for as long as possible. I didn’t shower, blow dry my hair or put on a bra or make-up for days. I closed and locked my door. Ignored the phone and email.

It. Was. Unprecedented. Heaven.

It was a permission slip to go away. And return to myself.

Wild applause please!

My attitude shifted like tectonic plates. Oh the epic relief!

“You’ve seen my descent. Now watch my rising.Rumi

My BS will insist I’m selfish, spoiled, guilty, greedy, and I’m not living up to my potential. With a bit of quiet time, I can smile at my little girl fears. I know she’ll pull out of this. She’ll forgive my imperfections and humanness. She’ll re-remember that harsh judgment just sends me chasing my sorry tail. She’ll believe, once again, that she belongs. That the world is safe for her. That I’m her champion. Even though things didn’t work out before, there is still enough time, energy and love to make it so.

It’s safe to keep dreaming.

Suddenly when I’m loving myself again, I realize that my holiday blues (or any sadness for that matter) visits when my gratitude is in the can. The hubster that I ached for, and didn’t believe I deserved, and the boys I wasn’t sure my body could ever have, are right outside my door. That’s phenomenal! And some fab friends from childhood are still by my side. Whahoo! And two fur friends on the bed nearby. Aw! And this rawkin computer that lets me reach YOU in 50 different countries (50!) Totally cosmic!

I could go on and on. And so could you. We have endless bounty going into 2015. We get to wake up to powerful gifts every day – that hot shower, food in the frig, trees in the yard, things to do, pets to hug, people to love. And I find that when I appreciate what I already have, and I let it be “enough,” it tends to grow three sizes that day.

Even though bank accounts can’t record these many, many intangible treasures, we are still rich. The goodness of a lifetime, the love, hopes and joys, are real and lasting. They are the foundation for daily magic.

We all face heartbreak, uncertainty, loss… but the world is experiencing a major metaphysical makeover. We’ve got a lot to live for! We’ve got so much to give and express and enjoy and love and believe in. We have a beautiful world to explore, inspiring people to meet, adventures to create.

Instead of bashing ourselves over the noggin every time we forget this truth, let’s just welcome the wondrous remembering. Yin and yang gives life it’s punch and aliveness.

The years we were asleep bring us more wonder when we wake up. The ways we deviated from our hearts make for an indescribable reunion with our truth. The long dark nights of the soul, make the recovery of the light even brighter. The blessings we forgot to count, inundate us when we finally remember. The times we follow fear and negativity makes learning to follow our own starlight a major WOW today.

And the BS? It’s unbeBLEEPable. It’s born of fear. Under despair, anger or numbness are the BS thoughts (not the circumstances) that are wreaking havoc. Any thought that frightens us isn’t coming from our soul. Fear doesn’t protect us – awareness does.

Michael Singer, in his beautiful book, The Untethered Soul, says it this way: “You can learn to keep your energy centers open. You do this by just relaxing and releasing. You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over. Remember if you love life, nothing is worth closing over. Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.

Not even our losses, mistakes, failures, our inner nastiness, dreams that didn’t come true, someone else’s dreams that DID, our critics, our past, our partner or lack of one, kids, bad habits, finances, fears and flaws. Believing the BS closes our heart. Letting it all be, re-opens the flow. It takes mindfulness and courage to open. Sometimes, a donut seems quicker.

When you discover any BS driving your school bus, no need to slam on the brakes and screech at your students (we’re all life-long-learners, after all.) Just make the next legal u-turn. Gigglesnort with the passengers. They’ll probably be riding with you again, next month. Slow to a safe stop and go do what makes you smile (even if the closest you can get is in your imagination. It’s a powerful place to engage.)

Your life is beautiful. Even when a deep ache keeps you awake at night. Even as your partner walks away. Even as the bank takes your house. You have something much more radiant inside you, behind you, and ahead of you, waiting to be reborn.

You have air in your lungs and sun on your skin (or snow in your face.) You have a lot of living to keep on loving.

Whatever the question, you’re still the glorious answer.

“Who you are in not an option. You are love. Byron Katie

That amazing heart beating in your chest is willing to believe in you, again and again. That’s not foolish, that’s fabulous. That’s the joyful creator inside you who knows how to pull her head out of the sandbox, dust herself off, breathe in the present moment and enjoy the path through this luminous playground.

Here’s a wonderful poem by Rumi, to leave you with~


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi “I was in an abusive relationship once, and I found a way out. That relationship was with myself. Byron Katie

with much love, wholehearted living and chocolate

Julie signature copy


Transforming Self-betrayal in the Mirror of our Relationships

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Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.JulieBondGenovese

Bill fills me in on a recent fight between Ky, our 10 year-old, and Carlito, Ky’s best friend. Ky told Bill… that Carlito told Ky… that I was ugly. 

Bill stops for just a split second. But when I appear unfazed, he continues nonchalantly. Little does he know, an old sad story has scurried out from behind my eyes. And my mad attempt to squelch it, is about to backfire. On both of us.

While my rational adult-self assumes that Carlito used the comment to get back at Ky (who probably said something rude to Carlito,) my younger-self, remembering a childhood of insults and labels, feels a fearful sting.

What is ugly about me? My differences? My face? My skin? My stumpy bod? Is it when I don’t wear make-up? Or blow-dry my hair? Am I just weird and unappealing?

I’m too mortified to admit any of this. So I slam on the cone of shame. You’re being childish and ridiculous. You should be over this insecure s#**! Do NOT let anyone KNOW!

Ever told yourself these doozies?

I wait for Bill to sooth my embarrassing fears…without my having to voice them. But when he doesn’t shower me with compliments, kisses and Krispy Kreams, the smack-down begins. Ugly is no longer the issue. Bill is now on the chopping block.

BS begins to bubble and spit. If Bill, the one who knows me best, doesn’t truly understand about my pain, no one ever will. I’ll always feel very alone.

Cool smokescreen, huh? Note how skillfully BS (Belief Systems) can make the argument about something else, entirely.

It can happen in the blink of a blind eye.

Shame zips me over to the dark side. I see Bill there. Growing horns. He’s stepping into my BS minefield. I’ve already been blown to smithereens. He’s next. And he’s toast.

Funny thing about old negative BS is that, since it isn’t true or kind, it desperately scrambles to be right.

I’m sinking fast as I grab for the old defenses. Blame. Anger. Victimhood. I think these puppies can lessen the hurt by casting the problem off me. By sharing the cesspool of BS.

I’m judging myself, but I need to prove that it’s Bill doing it. Ay caramba.

Is Bill ignoring my sadness (just as I’m doing) and abandoning me in my fears (ditto again.) I replay my old story and it’s frightening ending; he doesn’t really love me (aka I’m just not that lovable.) Woe is me.

Although I’m a former Oscar nominee for hiding feelings, I expect my hero hubster should see right through my charade and save me. He should recognize what I deny. Reveal what I hide. Be effing sensitive to my old wounds.

With rapid fire, I tell Bill how he should show his love for me (since I’m not doing it) and inform him of what he should have said and done differently (guilty again.) The “shoulds” have BS written all over them.

This never ends well.

It was me who wasn’t loving me! I was guilty of every one of my charges against him. I stopped loving me the moment I judged my feelings as weak, childish, stupid. I projected my judgment onto Bill. I didn’t recognize my self-betrayal in the mirror, which was begging for my acceptance.

No problem.

When I deny my feelings, it will seem as if my pain is outside me, crawling all over someone else.

How convenient.

We can’t run from their reflection because, on a soul level, we are One with them.

Bill goes to bed, angry and confused. I sit in a slump trying to prove that he was wrong. Then I hear myself saying, “he always…” and I feel the pixie-dust tickling my toes. What I claim about him is true about me. So what is it that I always do?

Um, I always think he should be able to read my mind and heart (which I’m hiding) and take responsibility for my happiness (which I’m not doing, at the moment.)

Repeat arguments and complaints are a rawkin’ festival of Biblical-sized BS.

I pull out my notebook to do some Byron Katie exercises called, “The Work.” Arguments are an opportunity to reclaim the peace I’ve lost. The brawl I take up with “them,” is raging within moi. I want to get out of this lonely, dark place where I’m believing things that my soul would never believe about me. Or Bill. It’s a scary spot to visit because the spirit and strength of me isn’t there.

The lights are on, but the feelings aren’t allowed home.

Like children, our emotions will clamor for attention, respect, validation and love, in the most annoying ways…and people. They’ll go viral in the movie all around us – in the characters who look at us sideways. Criticize us. Call us fat. Say goodbye.

What are your ongoing complaints about others?

With accusations and denial, we inadvertently step away from our soul’s wise influence. We’re “beside ourselves” because we’re not lined up with our soul’s stream of energy.

Fortunately, our emotions are a mayday call from the soul that we’re out of synch. We’re suffering because of what we choose to believe. We need to feng shui our feelings and shift our thinking.

We can find the truth about ourselves by looking at where our fingers are pointing. Can we take the advice we hoist on others? Bless the mirror that calls us names? Make amends with our own self-cruelty?

Allow your war-torn fears to come back home.

Our greatest awesomeness is fearlessly guiding us. She has full view of the meaning behind the BS mess. She beams and calls us to the highroad. She’s unshaken by whatever ugliness we barrel into. We’re swept back into her arms when we stop battling ourselves. We plug in and power-back-on when we forgive our forgetfulness.

Beauty is not in the way we look, but in the way we love.

Take a deep breathe. Draw a quiet lavender bath. Settle your soul. Whisper sweet nothings to the Love you cast out. Your own. Woo and romance her humanness back toward the light. She will melt into tears each time you honor her broken, flawed wholeness.

When I welcome myself with open arms, I become a beautiful sight.



Wishing you soft & tender love bombs,



Magnet 47