Friday, December 31, 2010

This Year

Pouring rain, thunder and lightening, a week ago snow and freezing temps, an interesting way to say goodbye to 2010. As every year in the past, 2010 has had its ups and downs.........just part of living, some years more ups, some years more downs.

This year has been a year of discovery for me, a year of reclamation if you will. I have regained
focus and vision of what I want, and who I am, sounds simple, but for me and I think for most,
big steps.

This year, my first real vacation in almost seven was wonderful! Telluride Colorado in July, good friends, surrounded by indescribable beauty, that trip triggered changes that are still taking place.

This year, my job evolved into exactly what I had hoped for.......those vision boards I talk about, work. People have come into my life this year who have found places in my heart and I believe just by meeting them I am a better person.

This year, more music gigs, my guitar playing has improved, more focus. There is renewed interest in my jewelry and art . I have sold quite a few pieces of my jewelry, totally unexpected.

This year, I finally lost those extra pounds, and made peace with my hair. ( those are biggies, trust me)

This year, I started this blog........kicking and screaming, I admit.........and from the bottom of my heart thanks to all of you who take the time to read it.

This year, the now, the present, the breath, the stillness, became more important to me than ever before.

This year, in a few short hours will be gone, a part of the past, just memories.......... my heart is full of joy, gratitude and love, may you all live the lives you were born to live, lives that touch,
lives that are full, and this coming year............may you laugh out loud every day!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Better Off

Take a couple of days off, those words were spoken to me by my doctor and very good friend last week.
He knows me well, and he knows that occasionally I have to be shown the way. The past eight
weeks I had battled the same old stuff, and so there had been involvement with several rounds of antibiotics and a couple of meet and greets with steroids. I know my body all too well, and even with all the meds I knew down in my heart I needed some down time.

I did not teach today, nor am I teaching tomorrow.......and yes my energy is better tonight, my spirit feels lighter, I did the right thing, I needed the rest. I am not 100 percent, but I know I will be in a few more days.

I will be a better teacher Monday, my body will be stronger, my head in the right place. Isn't it amazing what just a couple of days of different makes???? Sometimes the teacher has to be taught.

The downside, I feel that I let my students down........they count on me to be there, but they will understand. I walked this morning, actually I have walked every morning this week and it feels good......still a little winded, but getting stronger every day.

The yoga has made me so aware of my body, that it seems every weakness or strength screams
at me...........I can't tell you how good it feels to feel healthy tonight. I am glad, I did not want to end this year or start the new one sick.

Tomorrow I will make my What Do I Want list.......have any of you made yours yet? If you haven't, take five minutes, sit, breathe and think about what You want......then write
it down. Once a week, look at your list, update if you need too.......I promise your life will change. Thanks for all your good energy and love!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I wear an old Tibetan prayer coin almost daily........I touch it often, reminding myself to keep compassion in my life. The Mantra of Great Compassion, OM MANI PADME HUNG, loosely
translates to "the jewel in the lotus".........happiness in the heart.

We search so hard for happiness, it seemed today that each person who came to my class was possessed, grasping for happiness. Incredible drama seemed to be the norm, and there was great difficulty in going inward for most who came to class.......It was two of the most exhausting classes that I have taught in a long time. Yes, I wore my coin today, and I touched it many times repeating the Mantra of Great Compassion and praying that I teach each class with wisdom.

When there is pain, there is little belief that happiness lives in your heart......and when you begin to understand that you can't control everything around you, the drama just builds. I persevered, encouraging lots of breath work, moving through asanas that open the heart, speaking softly, encouraging everyone to look believe if only for a moment that happiness was in their hearts, waiting for them to accept it.

Slowly, the drama subsided, the breath became slow and even, tears faded, pain stopped.
Once again, I was reminded of how powerful compassion is, how powerful the breath can be, and how the asanas can calm, and how truly magical savasana/relaxation can be. When the classes
were over, my own energy was pretty much depleted, but for those who came to class in turmoil, they left in peace. It was a good day.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Am What I Am

A friend use to tell me that I was the female Popeye the Sailor.......not that I had muscles or that I was like a cartoon, he referred to the phrase that Popeye aways said "I am what I am".
My friend has said that to me so many times, you are what you are.

I have always thought that was a great compliment.........and it really is how I have tried to live my live for a very long time. Through the years, friends, family and strangers have all at one time or another thought that I was strange or weird......most of the time, no big deal.

Now, I am(HaHa) trying to get past the I am........ to really break down and let go of the labels and expectations that I have carried with me for so long, and truly be I am what I am. Letting go of labels is hard.......because our labels are how we see ourselves, how we expect ourselves to behave and live.

I am what I without being defined scares the hell out of me.......that's my struggle these days. To live, without expectations, without judgments, to get up every day and let life
flow like a river, to just be......I am what I am.

I read something about mortality, that if you consider how long the universe has been around,
how long the earth has been here and then think about the average life expectancy of humans, you understand how fragile the human body is, and how incredible the spirit is. I am what I am... not what I do, what I wear, what I look like, where I live........I am what I am.

Monday, December 27, 2010

After Christmas

I like the aftermath of Christmas............ Last week, I decorated the tree, did my shopping, painted and mailed cards.......then Christmas Eve and Christmas day, non-stop visiting. Last night I was exhausted, while every one else I know is taking down their tree and decorations because they can't stand to look at them anymore(most being up since Thanksgiving or before) I sat on my sofa and enjoyed the tree and the decorations on the mantle. I won't take anything down until after New Year's Day, I will spend this week enjoying the beauty of the tree, looking at the cards we got, and thinking about everyone that we spent time with the past few days. I love the after Christmas glow.
The snow we had this past weekend just made it all even better.

I can take the time this week to light the candles, eat a piece of peppermint bark and look at all my Christmas cookbooks. I know it's crazy, but this is when I truly feel the Christmas spirit. ........this week between Christmas and New Years'. My paternal grandparents, Mamie and Johnny always acknowledged the twelve old days and maybe that is where this after Christmas bliss comes from. I am fascinated by Boxing Day as well. I tend not to get back to life as usual until after January first........this week is my time for reflection, gratitude and enjoying the winter season.

Sitting in front of the Christmas tree, drinking my morning coffee was one of the most peaceful moments today. The stockings are still hung on the fireplace, the bouquets of cedar and pine overflow in my mom's old green vases, Mamie's old table cloth covers the kitchen table. In that stillness this morning, I felt the presence of Christmas past.......that certainty of love that spans generations and gives hope to future Christmases.

For me, this is Christmas.........not the gifts or the craziness of trying to go to everybody's house in twenty four hours......... this after Christmas stillness, it is the best part of the holiday season.
The slowdown, remembering to breathe, getting out in the cold fresh air,knowing that a brand new year is just around the corner, full of opportunities and possibilities.
So tonight, I will sit in the glow of after Christmas, the soft twinkle of the lights on the tree,
the familiar decorations, and I will bask in the holiday spirit and let this season of love finally wrap its arms around me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Be Happy

A friend recommended a book a couple of weeks ago and Amazon quickly sent it to my door.
It is Happy Yoga by Steve Ross and yes it is all about yoga, and so much more. My friend has been to Steve's class in LA and she swears that on her "when I win the lottery" list, she is going to take me to La for a class! So, let's send Jennifer some good energy as she buys those lottery tickets, ok?

There is a quote from Voltaire in the book"wherever my travels lead, paradise is where I am."
The first chapter of the book can't get happy, you can only be happy. I have taught and did my best to live this philosophy for years.......I was thrilled to read Steve's writings and thoughts on the subject........Happiness.

I teach people every day whose quest for happiness has almost killed them. If only a drug or alcohol or person could make us happy! We don't accept that happiness and peace are simple concepts that are obtainable by everyone. We want to complicate and control, in reality make them unobtainable.

Voltaire's it that difficult to understand that there is beauty and happiness no matter where you are, people imprisoned have found peace and happiness, while those who live in paradise are miserable. It's like traveling to a foreign country, surrounded by exotics and complaining the whole time because nothing was like home, the food, the people, the transportation, the religion,etc. When we travel, we eat as the locals, spend time with them as much as possible, enjoy the difference and see the paradise that is right in front of us.

That belief that you can "get" the fastest car, the biggest house, the perfect mate, the perfect job, the best body, the most expensive clothes, the perfect yoga choose happy, not buy it. The obsession of I will be happy when........I have this drink, take this pill, sleep with this guy, achieve this is so scary that some of us go to our graves waiting
to get happy!

I read a wonderful theory about love many years ago, can't remember where I read it or the exact words, but it went something like this............Love is how the other person makes you feel about your self. I think when we surround ourselves with as many people as possible that reflect our love back to us, that is true love. The poem Desiderata , it talks about avoiding those who vex the spirit..........we may have to work or associate with them sometime, but for god's sake, don't live with them! To me, love is believing in someone's dream as much as you do your own.

So this be happy, is it really that simple??????? Why don't you try it..........choose happy. We all have problems, life can be quite difficult, and very unfair, but wallowing in misery, seeing only the darkness day after day it traps you like a sticky paper fly trap. For sixty seconds, decide to be happy, fake a smile, fake a laugh.........just be happy for one minute. At least once a day,
laugh out loud, giggle whenever possible, smile at someone old( and not just the cute female or male passing by, though that's ok too) smile at a child, and then breathe. When you're stuck in traffic, smile for just a moment, when you stand in line at the super store, take a breath and smile, life changes that quickly.

Look at paradise where you are, I knew a family who lived in total poverty and they were happy, I have known those who have everything and could not be happy. Happiness is what we have right now, not something that we'll "get" someday. I try to laugh out loud every day, it feels good and makes everything a little better. When my mom passed away, my siblings and I sat at her kitchen table after the funeral and laughed through our tears as each of us remembered funny stories about our mom. There were moments of happy, even in grief.

The New Year is coming up, choose to be happy......choose to see paradise no matter where you are. The moments will come when you see and feel nothing but darkness, but you can turn the light on, you can be happy.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Watch Less

For many years I never wore a watch, and it never seemed to be a big deal. I don't remember being chronically late or missing appointments and I am not really sure when I began to wear a watch daily. I think that when I started teaching yoga (there was a time I was teaching four and five classes per day, five days a week) that is when the watch grew to my wrist.

The past few weeks I am wearing my watch less........on my off days I try to never strap that baby on. It really seems to keep my life less stressful, not to be so mindful of the passing of time.
I think I am getting more done, and it is easier to stay focused. Even this week as the Christmas crunch latched on to my back, the panic that I have felt in years past didn't hit. I admit I had my moments, but they were just that moments, not hours and days of beating myself up because I was not on schedule.

At first not wearing a watch, I felt rather naked. I would go to the grocery store or do errands and as I left the house my bare wrist seemed rather obscene...........but I am missing that timepiece less and less. We live in a time obsessed world, but it is so nice just a day or two a week to not be so worried about what time is it. To live a little freer, less shackled if you will
to the passing of the minutes and hours, seems to give me more time.

I truly had meant the past couple of nights to write about the holidays, but last night and tonight
the spirit moved me in a different path. Maybe it's the steroids racing through my brain and body, the hunger that I refuse to give in to, or all the big fat fluffy snowflakes that fell on Alabama today, but time seems to have stood still for moments and it felt as though I was looking at the world from another place.

My body says it is tired, my dog Blackie Bear lies at my feet snoring, I suppose it must be bed time. No watch has been on wrist today! and guess what , not wearing one tomorrow either.........and I dare you all to leave your watch at home one day this week and just see how
strange, yet freeing it feels.......ok for all you hard core keepers of the time, just go a few hours with out that face of numbers looking at you all day. Blackie's snoring is distracting now,
so Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Waiting For You

One of my favorite Joseph Campbell quotes"we must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Tonight is Christmas Eve and I had planned(haha) to write something about Christmas, but I kept thinking about this quote, so down the rabbit hole I go. I have been writing in my daily planner for several months at least once a week, what do I want........... not what I have planned, but what do I want.

It is quite exhilarating and a little scary to actually write down what you want.......not goals, not plans.......but what do I want. You begin to know and learn about yourself, when you give yourself freedom to voice your wants. Writing down my wants has helped me to focus, to pin point if you will what I finally want in life. If you let yourself be honest with your wants, you go inward and you are reintroduced (at least I was) to a person I left behind some time ago.

It has been a struggle, to address my wants.........I am a good southern girl, everybody's needs and wants always came before mine. But I am learning........and I am beginning to feel and be the woman I should have always been. Listing wants on paper, the motion and feel of the pen as it flows across the page is freeing, when you actually see those wants listed, you voice them, and put the energy out there, in your heart you know life is about to change.

I urge all of you who read this blog, to try this for a while in your own lives......some of you may already do so, but for those of you who don't, take a leap of faith. Years ago, I worked as a teacher's helper in a kindergarten class, the teacher I worked with was the best! One of the things that she taught me, when you are learning, use as many of your senses as you can.......I think that writing pen to paper is a great example of that. The rhythm of the pen, the movement of the hand, the feel of the paper, seeing the words cross the page, all reinforce
What Do I Want.

Give yourself a Christmas present of a lifetime, during the next twenty four hours...........write down, What Do I Want and relive your wildest dreams. Maybe at some point you wanted to write French poetry, or climb a mountain or write a novel..........dare to think it, dare to see it on paper! Your will see yourself differently, and soon others will too. Go ahead, once a week, write it down.......find the life that is waiting for you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Itch That Needs to Be Scratched

A good friend who lives on the west coast sent an e-mail today, full of good wishes for the holidays, cheer for the New Year..........but he also included a link to a new song that he had written.
It was hauntingly beautiful and by the end I was singing along. Where he lives is cold and snowy these days, but his song felt like summer......and though it is windy and cold here tonight, hearing his song made me feel the warmth of the summer sun.

We met in L.A a few years ago at a songwriter's workshop, and he and Rick and I became friends.
Our music really meshed too, voices, guitars, it was magic........but distance and obligations have kept us from getting together again. That is a shame, because when the magic happens you want it to go on. Now, I am thinking come spring, maybe the three of us can visit and write.

Co-writing songs is a strange intimacy........ you bear your soul in the strangest of the ways and hope that magic happens. I love co-writing songs, each writer brings something different to the table.......and it can be ordinary pot luck or it can be a delightful feast! Every writer that we have ever written songs with was wonderfully creative, and the songs...........from the ordinary to number one in Europe. But each song was a gift, from each writer, a piece of their heart, a bit of their soul, stirred not shaken, sometimes a dash of tears, usually laughter and there you have it..... a song.

It's been a while since we have co-written, and I am getting the itch, the fever if you will. The doc suggested today that I take a few days off work next week.......maybe the muse will visit
and a song will manifest......there's a lot in my heart that wants to come out, that need for creative intimacy is strong.......and if the stars and the planets are aligned who knows what might happen.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eye Transformation

I am always looking into people's faces.......I did it as a kid. I cannot walk down a street and not look into someone's eyes. The eyes don't lie. Because of my work, I see eyes that are empty and sad almost daily. I see eyes with no hope, that have given up on hope. Some nights, I dream of nothing but eyes.......peering into darkness. I see eyes that show fear, eyes that show hate, and eyes that have no life left in them at all.

But then there are those flashes, when the tiniest ray of hope flickers and you see the light begin to shine in those eyes. I see eyes sparkle and dance with laughter for the first time in ages.
I see eyes that begin to soften, and the hate and the anger and fear seem to fade. As lives change and hope becomes possible, faces that seemed way too old and hard, soften and the years roll away.

There are days when I think, I have nothing left to give........that the well of compassion within me has gone dry. And then I see someone smile, burst into laughter for the first time since I have met them, and the well fills up again. Some days I go to work sick, go there empty and within the first ten minutes, someone walks through my door, gives me a hug and I know I can go on..........that there is more than enough love in my heart for everyone who comes through my door.

Many days we talk about love, about hope, about possibilities, how learning to be still changes
everything about us. Some have ran all their lives, finding stillness and peace was not in their
DNA, or so they thought. That moment when they experience stillness, experience peace for the first time.........the light in their eyes is the most beautiful I have ever seen.

I love to watch my nephew Jordan's eyes......when he comes through my door they sparkle,
with the most amazing joy and love! I try to always let love shine in my eyes, because I know if it is shining in my eyes people I meet will see it. No one has ever told me they were loved too much.

Not sure how I went down this path tonight, I think someone told me as I was leaving today that I looked tired..........tired is ok,it just dims the sparkle for a little while. A good night's sleep, and I'll be good as new tomorrow.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Everything and More

It was a good day, it was a difficult day. We spent the morning with our great nephew Jordan
finding his first "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree.......which means we walked through the woods down past the barn until he found a little pine worthy of the title. This Charlie Brown tradition started with his mom, Samantha who is now twenty. When she was two or three, we went out and found her very own personal tree in the woods. I had decorations that I had made when I was a kid, she made decorations, and the tree stood proudly on our back deck. We did that for years, but to be honest I thought she had forgotten about it. Then over the weekend, she called and told me how much she had loved her Charlie Brown tree, could we do the same thing with Jordan.
I had saved those decorations from years ago, and I added a couple of angels that belonged to my mom. Tonight, Jordan's very own Charlie Brown tree is shinning on his back deck.

Then, I spent the afternoon with Doogie Howser, well not the real one. My pulmonary doc that I had seen for nineteen years retired a few months ago and my new one looks to be about twenty.
So, I am back on antibiotics and steroids........which means I cannot pig out during the holidays.
Steroids means no sleep, a raging appetite and energy to spare........well my house will be clean for Christmas.

Tonight I think I have painted my final Christmas card. This last batch gets mailed tomorrow.
I still have gifts to wrap, and a couple more to buy......cookies to bake. I have listened to Tori Amos' Christmas cd most of the day, LOVE it! and I have listened to Sting also and a cd called December which we bought years ago.

It was cloudy last night, we kept getting up to watch the eclipse, but it wasn't to be.
A blanket of clouds covered our skies and all we saw was the reddish glow. I so wanted to see it.
I think it is time to stop rambling and try to sleep tonight.
Good night, sweet dreams.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Silver Glow

I can't help myself, and yes I know that every other blogger in blog world is writing about the same thing tonight, but we should, it is a once in a life time event.
Full moon, winter solstice, full lunar eclipse......... I taught four yoga classes today and we did moon salutations in each class....... how could we not with all the lunar activity tonight?????

You all know how I love full moons, and then we add the solstice and's like birthday,
Christmas, New Years all rolled into one. When I left the building at work tonight, I looked through the branches of the bare trees, there was the moon bright and shinning with a big circle around it and a few clouds beginning to drift across it. The moon followed me all the way home.
Coming down the mountain, the whole world had a silver glow and I cried because of the beauty of it all. These are the moments we have to hold on to, these are the moments that we have to file in our memory, because they truly will never happen again in our life time.

I keep hearing that the clouds are moving in and we will miss the eclipse, but our clocks are set, and spirits are high, we expect to see this eclipse tonight.

As always, each time there is a full moon, it gladdens my heart, because it shines on all of us.
So no matter where you are as you read this blog tonight, the full moon bathes your world in its soft silvery glow. On this cold winter's night, with the energy that is flowing through the universe, I hope the moon shines on you and yours, that this shift of activity brings abundance
and great joy and peace to all of you........know as I watch the eclipse tonight I send love from my heart to yours..............Peace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Silence of Winter

Tonight I wait for the silence of winter. For me, that means snow. I love everything turns into a black and white post card, how clean the air smells, and mostly the silence here in the woods as the snow falls.

We only get a couple of snows a year in Alabama, and that is if the snow gods smile on us.
Snow is not in the forecast, but I crave it tonight. I crave those falling flakes like a junkie craves
their next fix. When life gets hectic, and chaos seems to rule, as it does this time of year, I pray for snow........ for big fat fluffy flakes, as big as quarters.

Snow seems to be the perfect baptism for the sin of stress......just a simple walk through the woods
listening to the silence and I am born again. Looking at bare trees, grey skies, feeling the wind blow against my face, I feel alive......... Sticking out my tongue, catching the flakes, and I am at peace.

We had beautiful flurries last weekend, it doesn't even have to stick to make me happy!
Many years ago, Rick and I had a gig in Mobile one cold January weekend. It snowed all the way, just these incredible swirls of flakes blowing across the Interstate. No accumulations that weekend, but a five hour drive in blowing was pretty being captured
in a snow globe and someone kept shaking it.

I love moments of silence, even when it doesn't a matter of fact, I have to have them. When things get so crazy, that I can't find the stillness, the silence.......I start to lose it.
I think we all need the silence of winter, for you it may not be falling snow, maybe it is sitting in front of a fireplace, or a solitude read, or just a drive alone......... silence is gold and silver for the soul, the wealth of the spirit........may we all be blessed with those moments this week.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Come Back Baby Jesus

I know that I have a strange title tonight, but bear with me. A few years ago, my nephew James and his wife Andrea had plans for an adult night out, the week before Christmas. They had two children at the time(now three) Stone who was around three, and Breeze who was almost a year old. It was a long night........not because they were bad kids, but Rick and I (never having children of our own) were not use to caring for such small children.

We started with food, they ate.......apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, eggs, pizza, chips, and we made Christmas cookies. We watched Christmas videos, The Grinch, Charlie Brown's Christmas,
and Emmit Otter's Jug Band Christmas. This all took place in the first hour, during the second
hour, we got out the guitars and sang songs, the kids had wooden spoons and pots and pans, so we had percussion. We were starting to panic, the kids were looking bored and Breeze was down to her last diaper.

The next hour, the kids were in the great room looking at the presents under the tree and admiring the nativity scene that my mom had bought us years ago. I soon realized that it was time for Breezie's last diaper. As I fastened the last one on her, the tape broke.............I know,
I would never win Mom of the Year Award......but we live twelve miles from any kind of store....
and yes I shamefully admit I duck taped her diaper!

By now, we are thinking James and Andrea have been kidnapped by Aliens and we are going to rear these kids........and they will be so warped. Rick and I convene in the kitchen going over our
emergency plan..........we hear Breeze's sweet little girl voice saying "come back Baby Jesus, come
back Baby Jesus". Now, we don't have a clue what has taken place in the thirty seconds we were in the kitchen, but as we rush back to the living room..........both kids are on their hands and knees sweeping their wooden spoons (remember the drums) under the sofa. They had taken
Baby Jesus out of the manger and somehow he was now under the sofa. All we could do was laugh.

It wasn't long after that, their parents picked them up. But "come back Baby Jesus" has become
one of my favorite Christmas stories. Tonight Rick and I watched Stone, Breeze, their younger sister Daisy and their dad James, perform in the Nutcracker. Their dad, was Mother
Ginger and it was quite a spectacle. But it will never compare to the night we looked for Baby Jesus under our sofa.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Things Change

Things change........ seems that phrase rings truer than ever. Lots of triggers for those changes,
some good some not so good. Rick and I did an open house the Sunday before Christmas for many many years. I cooked more food than you could imagine, decorated, cleaned and crammed as many friends as possible into our cottage. A couple of years ago, ...........not sure what exactly happened, but we stopped having our open house. I miss it. ..........what I miss most, seeing our friends. I know, things change. People's lives change, they take on new friends, go in different directions. Just because I know it happens, doesn't mean I like it. But I also know that all good things must come to an end.

I hope that the folks who came to those open houses have fond memories......of laughter, great food, good music and holiday spirit. I have never been one for big huge gatherings. When people come to visit, I want to enjoy their company, not just greet them when they arrive and not speak to them again until they are walking out the door. The nice thing about living in a 1200 square foot cottage, you couldn't have a large crowd, if you got twenty five people in the great room, wow!

Some of those friends who came, have passed on........and I will never forget them. The year our friend John met the woman he would marry, he was so excited to introduce her to us, that he showed up at our door that Sunday morning around eleven with his soon to be bride(the festivities were to start around two) So John and Linda helped us fix food and get ready for the rest of our friends. Linda was so embarrassed, but as she helped me in the kitchen, we got to know each other and laughed ourselves silly about John's excitement. She knew then she was a lucky woman to be loved by a man so excited to show her off to his friends. Their marriage only lasted a few years, John's life was taken way too soon by cancer.

One of our friends left the party one year not feeling well. Later that night, she was rushed to the hospital with a heart attack. The next year, she laughed and told everyone not to drink the eggnog, it was lethal.

At many of the celebrations, we gave away puppies. We always had "Watson Reds". Don't ask me why, but for some reason, for many years, right around Christmas, we had litters of red
puppies. Maybe those puppy door prizes kept some from coming back!

This is the weekend we would normally have had our open house. We had talked about calling some old friends and asking them to drop by, but I have been under the weather this week and my body has come to a screeching halt. Tonight, I am hoping for enough energy to do Christmas shopping tomorrow.

I sit here tonight, and think about those great times. Of course, I also have memories of absolute panic....... of not having enough food, of no one showing up, of the house not being clean enough,
silly stuff really, thank goodness some things change.

But some things don't change, any of the nieces and nephews that want to come, will be here Tuesday to bake Christmas cookies, Swedish spice, the only recipe we have ever used. There will be hot spiced cider and the house will smell like Christmas. My cards are painted, and the first batch goes in the mail tomorrow. And my nephew Jordan will get his first Charlie Brown
Christmas tree! We started that tradition with his mom, Samantha.........we would walk out in the woods, find the saddest little pine tree we could find, and then she decorated it any way
she wanted. I have all her old decorations( she is twenty now) and Jordan will have to make some new ones.

Things change........and it is hard. But the good thing........the circle of life goes on.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Very Late night........very long day...........but a good day.
Will tell the story tomorrow night.
Good night Sweet dreaSms

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crossing of Paths

I can count on one hand the number of people that I have met, that our crossing of paths changed my life. I can add another name to that short list tonight.
I spent the afternoon with Claude Anshin Thomas and his assistant, KenShin. Claude wrote a book, At Hell's Gate( a soldier's journey from war to peace). A friend had suggested a few months ago that I read the book, he had read it, and had communicated with Claude. I ordered the book, read it and sent Claude an e-mail explaining my yoga classes/involvement with Post Traumatic Stress.
He answered my e-mail, offering his help, his services, anything that he could do.

Today Claude shared his story with those classes. This book is truth and compassion, and I know it took great courage to write. I read passages from it to my classes all the time. Each time I read his words, I am amazed by his journey, his story. But meeting him face to face, sensing the peacefulness and calm that surrounds him, hearing him speak. I watched faces today as the group heard his words, some were skeptical, others "got it", and I saw the transformation in their eyes.

Claude teaches "that everyone has their Vietnam" and he offers ways to find healing and guidance on mindfulness, how compassion can change our lives. I sat in the presence of some one remarkable today, forever grateful that our paths crossed, knowing in my heart my life has changed because of meeting him.

My song tonight is one of joy and gratitude. Kindness and blessings to you all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crud Attack

Some god-awful crud has attacked me! It started its sneak attack a couple of days ago, and today
it has taken me hostage! Breathing and talking are rather difficult, and I think that sometime last night a mac truck actually ran over me. The sofa has been my best friend today.

So, send some healing energy my way. Tomorrow, I will be meeting with Claude Thomas, my mindful meditation teacher hero. I will be there no matter what. The tea kettle has been on overdrive today, so has the Nettie pot. This too shall pass.

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mindful Transformation

Teaching mindfulness to people that are hurting, is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. When lives are in turmoil, bodies are racked with pain, and nothing is going right, talking about mindfulness can sound like Martian. But, that is the time when our minds and souls crave it most.

Today, I started a class with the basics of mindfulness........we began with just breathing......hearing the breath, the feel of the breath, mindfulness of any movement in the body as you just sit and breathe. Then we took the mindfulness to sounds around us, beginning with the sound of the breath, moving to the soft sound of the music, any sounds in the room, then listening for sounds outside the room.

Next we took mindfulness to our bodies, being aware of pain, discomfort, any sensation good or bad. How it felt to sit on the yoga mat, the weight of the body, alignment of the body, awareness of the person sitting to our left and to our right.

Then we began to notice out thoughts, were some recurring, did we latch on to some and refuse to let go..... or were there hundreds of thoughts rushing through the brain like cars during rush hour on the freeway.

And finally I began to point out, that all those things we were mindful of at the beginning of class...... well, those were all part of our past longer reality, no longer the present.

Watching their faces change as we progressed through this class was quite incredible. The group came in, loud, agitated, and stressed........within ten minutes, they were serene and peaceful.
This is the miracle of mindfulness. It is so easy to allow others and our surroundings to take us to a place where stress, fear and worry engulf us. But when we become mindful, of our breath,
of our bodies, of sounds, of surroundings, we allow ourselves to live in the present, in the moment and life changes dramatically.

So with holiday stress building to a crescendo, take a few moments for mindfulness. Start with breath, breathing slow, noticing the sound and feel of every breath you take. Become aware of the body, of movement, sensation, tightness, stress anything, pain, discomfort. If you are eating
taste your food, chew it.........sip your water, notice how the mouth and throat feel more comfortable. Listen to the sounds around you, some maybe jangling, but others may be very soothing, such as your breath, or the wind or music. Notice your thoughts, are you reinforcing negative thoughts and feelings, re hatching the past, bring your thoughts to where you are, the colors, smells, letting your thoughts just flow through your mind. Now smile, two or three minutes of mindfulness, will calm and energize and help you make it through this holiday season.
Stuck in traffic, breathe, sing out loud! This too shall pass......... let this season be one of mindful
transformation, not worry and aggravation.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Polar Express

The Polar Express came south today. It was an exhilarating twenty eight degrees with snow flurries! and twenty mile per hour wind gusts!

Rick and I went to the tree farm to get our Christmas tree, perfect day for it.
Cold, snowy, got to hang out with their reindeer and I sat in Santa's sleigh.
(see photo) I guess after writing about my favorite Christmas tree a few days ago, it set the mood for some sort of cedar tree. The tree sits in the living room as I write this blog, and the whole house smells so good. It is not decorated but that is ok.
I have also painted Christmas cards today. The kitchen table is full, there are cards everywhere...and many more to go.

The dogs are loving the snow and the cold. Blackie Bear, ( the big lab/chow mix) has just spent the day with the wind blowing in his face and snow flakes sticking to his fur. Every once in awhile he looked at me, like why can't we have this weather all the time????? The other dogs go out for about five minutes and then rush for the doggie door and the warm house.

When I was in the shop at the tree farm today looking at all their Christmas decorations, the owner said "wow, you are really dressed for the cold" I laughed and told her that I dressed for a life that I didn't live.......meaning I love cold weather clothing, I buy it and get to wear it for maybe a couple of weeks a year. You know, I keep seeing that cabin out in Colorado or on the coast of Maine......or that Christmas I have planned in Prague.

The cold won't last long. Weather rumor has it, that by Thursday it will be sixty degrees.
Dylan knew what he was singing about, "a change in the weather, is bound to be extreme."
So, I cherished every snow flake that fell today......some were big, fat and fluffy, others were tiny little things that were just blown around by the wind. I know most of the folks who live here have complained about the cold, but for me it was a wonderful gift.....that made my cheeks rosy and my eyes twinkle.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Ok, I have to confess........It is December 11 and I have done none, not any Christmas shopping.
No tree, no cards.........I know there are some of you who are thinking what is her problem?
First the shopping........usually the shopping is almost done by now, or at least there is a good start.That is because until this year, I had done ninety percent of my shopping on line, but Rick wants to keep it local this year, and ........I haven't been to the mall. I love shopping on line, I can always find really unique stuff, I hate going to the mall. (sigh.............) at least my friend Woni has a wonderful book store, so I can do some shopping there. My girlfriend Kaye also has some incredible things in her online store, (which for me is local) so maybe between the two of them
the shopping will not be so painful.

The tree, we are going to the tree farm tomorrow. There should be a decorated Christmas tree in the house by tomorrow night,.........or at least an extra tree in the house.

Cards, well I painted the model tonight, and tomorrow morning or sometime tomorrow the card painting frenzy will begin. If any of you want a hand painted card, send snail mail address tomorrow or forever hold your peace.

I know you must be thinking, this woman is Scrooge's mistress ! I promise, I love Christmas.
But I grew up in a house where Christmas did not create a spending frenzy or decorating
nightmare. We put a tree up, usually the week before Christmas, sent Christmas cards that week and usually did shopping a couple of weeks before Christmas. We hung a wreath, sometimes we did outdoor lights, hung stockings, and displayed all the Christmas cards we got around the doors and windows of the living room. Each of us got one or maybe two presents.

But we cooked........holidays at our house, we'd put Christmas records on the stereo and turn the kitchen into command center. One of my girlfriends told me last week, that the Christmas she helped my mom and me make chocolate covered cherries was one of her best memories.
She said she never knew a kitchen could hold that much love. Funny she said those particular words, because I am a firm believer that if food is not cooked with love, no matter the skills or
kitchen appliances or ingredients, it will not be its best.

Most years I have painted or made jewelry for almost everyone, but my time has been rather crunched the past few months. But, I do work best under pressure, we'll see what takes place in the next thirteen days.

So my cooking plans, biscotti (several kinds) Swedish spice cookies, maybe an Irish raisin cake,
a big fat ham, a smoked turkey breast, a couple of pots of home made soups, some home made bread, ginger bread and always hot apple cider and eggnog and oh yes, home made salsa and chips. Lots of hot tea and frothy coffee drinks. And yes, butter and sugar will be used with wild abandon!
It is cold and rainy tonight, and the wind is howling.......perfect weather for creating the Christmas spirit. I can feel the inspiration as I sit here and tap these keys!
A cup of hot tea awaits.........Good Night, Sweet Dreams.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorite Christmas Tree

This is the weekend to look for a Christmas tree. We always get the living trees, you know, those you plant after Christmas. Through the years we have bought some exquisite trees, hemlock, white pine, cypress........and they have turned our yard into a forest. But my most favorite Christmas tree........the last Christmas that we celebrated with my dad, he helped me with the tree. Rick was working nights and it just seemed we were running out of time, and still no tree.

I was at my mom and dad's helping to decorate their tree, when daddy told me he had the perfect Christmas tree for us. We walked out in their yard, and over in the corner stood this beautiful
lacy cedar tree, complete with tiny cones. At first he told me we would just cut it down, but then I convinced him to lets dig it up, so it would be in my yard for years to come. It was the first and only cedar that we ever had as a Christmas tree......and my dad was so happy that he had given the tree to us.

That year as I decorated that sweet clean smelling tree, I had no clue it would be my dad's last Christmas with us. He was so excited about providing the tree that he even bought new decorations for me to use........ropes of shimmery red and gold beads.

That was twenty years ago, and my dad passed away in January, a few short weeks after Christmas. Today what was a small five or six foot tree is now at least thirty feet tall.......a home for birds and squirrels. Every day when I see that tree I think of my dad, he loved Christmas and loved giving funny silly gifts. I still have the last Christmas present he gave me........he had been a plumber and coal miner and that year, he gave me a doll size bathroom commode, when you opened the lid, water squirted in your face. He howled with laughter when I opened it on Christmas day.

When I decorate our tree this weekend, those strands of red and gold beads will be hanging on it, reminding me of my most favorite Christmas tree. ......and that last gift, tied with a bow, sitting in the bathroom window.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winter Sunset

As I was cooking dinner tonight, I looked out the kitchen window to the most incredible sunset.
The bare trees were just black outlines against a sky that was shaded from tangerine to gold to crimson. Those warm shades of color seemed to start at the horizon and fade at tree top level into dusky shades of purples and indigo. A crescent moon had just started to shimmer and one lonely star was shinning in the distance. The whole scene seemed other worldly. The beauty of it all took my breath away and all I could do was stand there and gaze out the window. Time really did stand still, and there was nothing but the of winter's best gifts.......sunsets.

I have experienced some pretty fabulous sunrises, but sunsets........there's my weakness.
My favorite sunsets are in the fall and winter, the colors just seem more vivid, more alive. Most days when I am driving from work, I see sunsets that make my heart stop. A good part of the drive home takes place on a mountain plateau and as I began my descent, usually the sun is setting.

Those sunsets are gifts........of rare peaceful beauty. Many times, deer are at the edge of the road and they too appear to be mesmerized by the show of color they see. Sometimes, at the
creek and lakes I see the outline of a crane, poised, ready for flight bathed in those sunset colors.

Each time I am privy to such a show of color, I want to possess it......well at least something that vivid and rich in pigment. When it's cold, as it has been for the past few days, I think of cashmere sweaters in crimson and deep me, when the day comes that I find
one in those colors, it's coming home with me, no matter the cost!

I hope that all of you see a sunset that beautiful this week, that the vibrancy of the colors, the contrast of the landscape is a gift that you will cherish.........I think those colors are Mother Nature's peace offering when the winter winds howl and the cold bites at your nose.
By the way, a lunar eclipse and meteor showers are on their way in a few days, grab a blanket,
watch the sunset and then catch the rest of the show!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blogging Transformation

Some nights when I write this blog, the words flow so fast that it's as though they are streaming through my fingertips.......I can't type fast enough. Then there nights like tonight, I have thought of a dozen things to write about, but nothing flowed. I know that words cannot be forced, that they have to movement, flow and if it is not energy, no life in the passage.

On nights like tonight, I think about why I write. All my life, people have talked to me, told me their personal stories, I am a good listener. But as good a listener as I am, it can be quite difficult for me to tell someone my story........though it is easy to write my thoughts. Often I tell my yoga students to write, to journal their thoughts and feelings. This blog is not a personal journal, but it does allow me a certain freedom with my thoughts and words.

Rick had written about writing letters(Rick is my husband) in his blog. Honestly, I have not written letters in a long time. But, I use to write letters often. I loved writing letters, I bought beautiful stationary, sealing wax, special pens. I started writing letters when I was ten or eleven years old. I miss writing letters, I miss getting letters. There really was something extraordinary about letters. I think maybe some of Rick's followers are correct, blogs have become the pen pals if you will of this century.

Because of writing this blog, and following other blogs, I have made friends that I would never have met otherwise. I am fascinated by the quality of writing, the vastness of knowledge, the humor and kindness that you all express through your blogs. It is a small world, yet an isolated we sit at our computers and people around the world that we will probably never meet or maybe never see again, but the connection has been made.

I wish I had more time to read more blogs and follow more blogs. When and if, I ever retire,
maybe that is what I will do, spend my days following blogs. There are worst ways to spend your day. Rick has been writing his blog for five years, I hope to make it to one.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your comments, this blogging transformation is never boring.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Providing Information

This blog is called Transformation Information, today I spent most of the day providing information to Jordan, my two year old great nephew. We walked down to the barn this morning and I spent about an hour giving him information on wasp nests, old coke bottles, changing of the seasons, why it was ok that the barn was not heated and the tractor would not catch a cold.
That was just in the barn.

We walked out in the woods and he identified deer tracks( not sure who taught him that) and then I provided information about why the deer could walk through blackberry briers and not get scratched, and how the deer could find their way home, and why they love to eat apples and corn.

Then we had a long discussion about the chickens laying eggs, where the eggs came from and why it was important to wash the eggs and your hands after gathering the eggs.

Next on to the bird feeders, suet and fresh water for birds and squirrels........there is an old log that he pours bird seed on and a young squirrel visits and eats the seed while Jordan is pouring it on the log. It's amazing, they are inches away from each other and neither are afraid. Jordan decided today that suet was just too messy and that from now on filling the suet baskets was my job.

During his bath, I had to provide information about soap, how the bubbles formed, why it taste
so bad, and how the bar got smaller and smaller each time he took a now, my wealth of information was just about bankrupt. But, he also knows if I don't know the answer to something, we look it up.......on the computer, in a book, or newspaper, we try to always find the answer.

As exhausting as his visits are, he keeps me on my toes. All those questions, and he is full of them, and they just keep on coming and coming and coming.
Every day Jordan spends with me, I experience transformation.........I see the world through his eyes......I remember what it's like to meander down a path, to pick up leaves and be amazed by their colors, to hear the wind and run for no reason at all, just because it's fun.
We finger paint almost every time he visits, and I see the vividness of colors, and I remember my mom teaching me to draw. There is transformation in living for a little while each day like a child, looking at the world around you fresh, with eyes wide open, curious about everything you encounter.

So on the days that Jordan spends with me, I provide information for him, and he provides transformation for me. I think those are days well spent.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Starry Night

One of my most favorite paintings is Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. Tonight, the sky over head must look like the sky that inspired Starry Night. The sky looks like deep rich velvet strewn with tiny sparkling bits of crystal. You know some nights the stars look flat against the sky, but tonight there is dimension and depth to their brilliance.

It is very cold tonight, already in the low thirties. There is stillness, that kind of stillness that comes with freezing cold. When you stand out in the cold and look at the stars , time seems to stand still. You can hear the rustle of fallen brown leaves as a dog or maybe a deer walks through the garden.

I wish we had a skylight.......over the bed, so I could look at the sky tonight before I go to sleep.
I feel the cold and gaze up at those stars, and I believe in possibilities. There is something at least for me, about seeing the stars that gives me hope. A cold night sky filled with stars makes me believe in magic, that anything is possible. I see all those stars and I just have to think that surely someone out there is looking up at their stars and thinking ........there has to be more, there has to be someone else somewhere.

I wonder when Vincent van Gogh painted Starry Night if he knew how magnificent his painting really was, did he know in his heart that it would become one of the most loved paintings in the world, that generations would look at that painting in awe and wonder.

I think to create something so beautiful like a painting or a song, that stands the test of time,
that gives so much pleasure to so many, that is a true gift to humanity. I can't help but think,
did van Gogh ever think about his work lasting all these years, that millions would know his name and his talents.

Starry Night, it says it all, such a simple name for a painting that is known all over the world.
And tonight, I have my own personal Starry Night............cold, still, dark with millions of stars
shimmering down on not only me, but all of you.
Starry Night, Sweet Dreams.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Wish

As difficult as yesterday was, today has been that good. I had Christmas lunch today with my siblings and Rick and I, along with Steve Norris, George Scherer, and Dan Farmer(with his bass player, Mark) played a benefit for two siblings with Fanconi Anemia this afternoon at the Regions
Baseball Park in Hoover.

It is always difficult to see someone ill, but seeing small children sick...........that's the hardest. Both of these kids, a six year old and a four year old are facing bone marrow transplants. You could look in their faces and see disease, but they were having the time of their lives this evening.
As soon as I walked through the door this evening, Stella, the four year old walked directly to me, and gave me a hug.
She had never seen me before.........yet it was though she had known me forever. A little later, her two year old cousin, Bella came over, climbed up in my lap and almost fell asleep. Her mom was freaking. Rick swears I am some sort of alien, that everywhere we go, the old, the afflicted, the young and animals flock to me. It even freaks me out sometimes.

After the show tonight, as we were tearing down the sound equipment, Stella came back to me,
another big hug and told me how glad she was to see me again. Maybe she knows someone who looks like me.

I looked at their young parents tonight, they look like kids themselves. I cannot imagine what their lives must be like, with two sick children. Life is cruel when a family has one sick child,
it just seems unbearable to have two. So tonight, send this young family, love and prayers if you will. Sadly, I think they have some dark moments yet to come..........but tonight, there was laughter, there were hugs and great music and hope. I am so humbled to have been a part of this, to have met this family and been blessed with Stella's hugs. My Christmas wish........Stella and her brother live long, happy, healthy lives.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

So It Goes

It has been a day of obstacles, of roundabouts and dead ends. Nothing I have done or said has gone the way it it goes. Tonight, if there were indeed a magic carpet, I would take the ride.

The monkey that dances in my head, has not only been drunk, but cruel and laughing. It seems he has been screeching all day, I only hope he passes out tonight.

Tomorrow is indeed another day, thank god. So, the best I can figure, planetary alignments,
weather changes, and maybe something in the water have all contributed to this backwards
day.......... it is what it is.

Good night, Sweet dreams.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lace Curtains

When we were in Ireland, we stayed at B&Bs every night. Some were really nice and others were just tiny rooms with a bed. But the one thing they had in common........lace curtains. Not polyester lace, but thick heavy cotton lace, the kind your grandmother might have had. I love that look of lace hanging over windows, airy yet private. The window here in our office, and our guest room have those thick heavy lace panels.

Every night as I sit in front of the computer I look at the beauty of this woven lace. It transports me back to Ireland. In the mornings as I sit and check my e-mail, I see the sun rise through that lace. Our house is not frilly, neither is it chrome and leather, my friend who is a decorator calls it French country. I call it old hippie. Lots of books, plants, and guitars, and I hope a warm welcome, just a small cottage that loves company. When one of my friends from Dallas visited awhile back, he looked around and said it was just as he imagined it would be.

These lace curtains might seem rather quaint or old fashioned, but to me they are a beautiful reminder of Ireland.......of the good times, the music, our friends there. You know what is interesting, I had them long before we ever went to Ireland. The trip to Ireland just affirmed
my love for them.

The desk that my pc sits on, my younger brother Ricky bought for me when I was in high school.
There was an antique store near our house and I went by there every day and looked at this desk. It is quite simple, but that is what I loved most about it. The grain of the wood, the simple lines, it is perfect sitting in front of the window with the lace curtain.

I think I fell in love with a certain type of lace when I was a child. My grandmother Mamie,
tatted( made lace) out of heavy cotton thread. I actually have her tatting shuttle and the last piece of lace she made. It looks like my lace curtains, not frilly and prissy, but everlasting, substantial.

In the eighties, a friend made me a dress out of her mom's old lace table cloth. It looks much like my window lace. It doesn't look bridal, but rather tough and sexy, the kind you'd wear with leather jeans(which I have done in the past) Maybe that is part of the allure, this lace that is heavy and thick. It's lace so there is a fragile quality, but because of the thickness, there is a toughness too.

So there you have my love affair with lace, and if you ever come to visit please say something nice about my lace curtains.
Good night, Sweet dreams.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I love my hairstylist, Donna. She has been cutting my hair for many years. I have to admit that through the years there have been times that I have strayed, I have cheated on her, but I always go back and she welcomes me with open arms. She is better than a therapist. When my time is crunched, she is master of the quickie and when I need a couple of hours of undivided attention she is right there .

Today, time was crunchy, I had made the appointment for just a cut, but when I sat down in her chair and started telling her what I had been doing for the past couple of months and what was to come for the next few weeks, she shook her head and said "time for a quickie". She absolutely refused to let me leave with just a haircut, so she did her magic and I was blonde sparkle Jilda again. She does great rock and roll hair! When she finished, I looked in the mirror and said
OMG, you took ten years off! She laughed and I told her she could put plastic surgeons out of business.

When Rick saw me, his first words were "wow, you look like a rock star." Probably men reading this blog tonight are thinking what the hell is she talking about. But I think most of the women out there know.........a good hair cut makes momma real happy! It is amazing how something as simple as a haircut can make you feel. Ask any woman, a bad hair day is like gaining ten pounds overnight, it just knocks the wind right out of you.

So here I sit tonight, in my pjs in front of the computer with great hair. For all of you, I hope there is a Donna in your life and that you never have a bad hair day !

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Power of Touch

I am a hugger......... I have always believed in the power of touch. I think there is magic when you hug, when you hold someone's hand, when you touch someone's shoulder. The magic is the connection of one human with another. I am not talking the touch of lust(though that can be a good thing too), but the touch of kindness of letting someone know you care.

I hear people say I love you alot, but these days I think we all need human contact more than we need to hear words. Touch is healing, touch is comforting, a hug can make someone's day.
When we were at the beach a few days ago, I saw couples strolling on the beach holding hands, it melted my heart. These were not teenagers, these were couples with some years on them who understood the power of touch.

When is the last time you saw anyone strolling holding hands? For the most part we are all walking as fast as we can go, going nowhere. I love airports, you can see some fantastic hugs there.......sad ones, because someone is leaving and joyous ones because someone arrived. There is usually some hand holding too.

I see people everyday that I want to hug......small children, the sick and the elderly. At work,
anytime someone wants a hug, they know I have one to share. Think about when you are sad or sick, how good it feels when someone hugs you. When there is something to celebrate, hugs just add to the festivities.

Sometimes it doesn't even take a hug, just a hand on a shoulder, a pat on the back can change your day. We all forget the energy that we possess, how powerful the touch of the hand can be.
Healing has taken place through the laying on of hands. Think about petting your dog or cat, just stroking their fur makes them and you feel better.

I know that there are many who shrivel and shrink away from touch, and that is their loss. But I can assure you, life is better with the power of touch . Pain eases, fears are calmed, sadness is softened with the human touch.

So first we start by looking at each other, then maybe a hand shake, we can do this.........we can slowly ease into this power of touch........then after a handshake, maybe a hand on the shoulder
and then finally a gentle hug.........there is power in touch, there is energy in touch, lives can be changed with just a touch.