Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve - A Reflective Eve

I was invited to a service in my complex this evening - in fact the Ward Room is where Lindsay and Scott were married just four months ago.  I have not been there since that beautiful day in August, but the view of the harbor is still breath-taking and the memories, endearing.

The invitation intrigued me as the service was to be offered by a Sufi minister, representing the unity of various religious and spiritual traditions.  The concept of unification is so much a part of my life in many aspects - I strive to bring together various ways of thinking, being and living, with the intention of creating and spreading peace and harmony.

The service was lovely and I felt badly that I needed to leave before it ended because my next event is a satsang at a local yoga studio.  We will practice yoga by candlelight, chant and meditate as one.  I am so excited to share in this tradition as well because the postures, readings and reflections always touch a part of my life that either needs cleansing, uplifting or healing, AND, it offers me opportunity to share these teachings with my followers.

As I dawn my yoga pants, I feel blessed for the many gifts in my life and grateful for the grace to accept challenges with an open heart.

I wish you all a peace-filled New Year, one that offers bright new beginnings.

With love,

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Blessings

Christmas 2016 is a different, yet blessing filled season.  For many years, our family had a strong tradition - my girls and I sang the two Christmas Eve masses at our church, then we filled the car with presents, our dog and for some years, our hamster - singing carols all the way to Gram and Gramp's home in the woods.  When we arrived, they had chinese food ready for the hungry singers!  It became a staple to enjoy chinese food since it was the one cuisine that was open and often quite busy on Christmas Eve.

Over the past few years, things have changed - I was ill, then Mom, then Mom passed away, now Linds and Scott married and there has been illness in the family.  Yet with these life experiences, one thing has remained strong - love for one another and understanding the true meaning of Christmas.  As the Grinch so eloquently states, Christmas does come packaged up with boxes and bows, yet the heart and spirit are what the true meaning is all about.  (we watch the Grinch every season)

Since my Dad can no longer drive distances, we traveled out a week ago to bring his gifts and to surprise him with a sing-along at the retirement home that he will eventually move into.  It brought back memories to my Dad for when he played Santa and I would sing and play guitar with my best friend, Jeanne.  We have been doing this since middle school - boy am I getting old!

On Christmas Eve, Ashley and I sang with our choir in Marblehead - it felt so good to sing songs of joy, peace and love.  Fr Steele, our new pastor, talked about how Pope Francis celebrated his 80th birthday this week and he hosted breakfast and lunch for the poor and homeless in Rome.  His homily reflected upon how we can exemplify the meaning of the birth of Jesus by giving of ourselves.

As was already in our plan, Ashley and I went on Christmas morning to a local American Legion to help pack up meals for the poor.  While there, we met such a warm and loving group of people - young and old, all together to celebrate bringing joy to those less fortunate.  We left there feeling so good.  The day was bright, sunny and crisp.  I took her to Singing Beach, a magnificent golden nugget on the northshore.  There were many people there with their dogs frolicking along the sand.  We walked and talked and Ashley did some yoga poses on the rocks.  It was fun and refreshing.

When we arrived home, we made homemade chinese food.  We chopped, sliced, diced and whisked together amazing flavors and I was able to share my cooking skills with her - something that is so near and dear to my heart.  Feeding others with love is something I learned as a young child, standing on the chair when little, helping Mom in the kitchen.  I went on to continue with my interest in food, thanking my college education for the influence of home economics in the delivery of nutrition services.  Feeding the body is akin to feeding the soul.

Today is Monday and we have the opportunity to repeat celebration with Linds and Scott.  We will share another family traditional meal and share the love that we all have for one another.

While the Christmas season does not end until January 6, my season will continue throughout the year - feeding the bodies, minds and souls of those I encounter.

Wishing you all the blessings of the season,

Monday, December 12, 2016


The word keeps ringing in my ears and is all around in my listening, my singing, my sight.  As I lay on my yoga mat last week, feeling the pain of family distress, most of it out of my control, I heard the words "Joy" repeated as my yoga mentors read from various texts.

I then listened to the gospel and homily at church and was again reminded of how Jesus stated, "That my joy be with you and your joy be complete".  It felt so reassuring, so timely and while life has been challenging over these past few weeks, deep inside I have been able to trust, to remind myself to "Let Go and Let God."

It has not always been this way and I can fall into old patterns of wanting to fix things, to rescue others from their pain and yet, my mentors have provided me with tools that I have been practicing over and over again, now to test and take flight.

In fact, I used this analogy with my family member - think of a tiny, baby bird, ready to take its first flight.  There is fear, there is likely a few falls, but with practice, the bird does indeed take flight.

It is innate for all living beings to heal, to move towards wholeness, to be held by God, spirit or however we call this miraculous support.  For me, this brings Joy.

May you find, peace, joy and love as we enter the final days of a holy season or just the end of a year.

With love,