Monthly Archives: October 2008

May the life force be with you.

Dig deep and find your life force.

What inspires that life force?  That passion that I wrote about?  That fire within your soul?  Find it.  Tap it.  Nurture it so it grows and grows and grows……….

My life force is strengthened by so many things.  When I first think about the term of life force, I think in color.  Bright blue, like a brilliant sapphire.  I think of pinks and browns and deep colors and bright colors and pastel colors.  I think of people, those that are most connected to me, those that matter the most to me.  My partner.  My daughter.  My parents and siblings.  My sisters of my soul, and my friends here blogging away.  I also think of music; songs that speak the words of my soul.  Instruments that keep the rhythm with which I live my life.

My life force is strengthened and nurtured in so many ways.  It is waking up this morning, putting my daughter on the bus, and then having my mouth drop open in amazement at the beauty of the sunrise; deep orange emerging over dark, gray clouds.  The snow that is covering the ground.  The smoke coming from the chimney of our warm home. 

Getting in my car, and playing the songs that inspire me to begin my day.  Thinking of the love that I have in my heart for all of those near and dear to me.  Thinking about how contented I am in the classroom, in a training mode, how much I love to learn and love to teach and love to talk and listen and BE.

My life force gets kicked into overdrive when I walk out into the brisk, noontime air, to take my walk with my walking partner and friend.  When I know that I am learning how to balance care of self with feeding my body.  That I can look in the mirror with eyes of love instead of eyes of disdain. 

That life force gets me out of bed in the morning, and strengthens every moment of every day.  There is so much to feel fortunate for, and blessed by, and that just humbles me, inspires me, and keeps me going, and going, and going, in every moment of every day of this blessed life of mine.

Write your story.  Spell out your moments.  May the life force be with you…… today and always……

Inside or outside the fire.


Where are you standing on a regular basis, inside or outside of the fire? 

This question is related to every one of us, all of us affiliated or familiar or ingrained in Ubuntu.  Those of us waking up, dreading the start of yet another day.  Those of you facing obtstacles that you aren’t sure how you are going to manage. 

 In the midst of all of our stressors, our demands and busy schedules, do we find ourselves standing inside or outside of the fire?

Standing outside of the fire, to me means, that I am looking from a distance.  I don’t want to be too close; I may get burned.  I don’t want to risk what I already have, because I worked hard to get it, and to risk losing it could mean that I am left with nothing.  I don’t believe that my life could get any better, so I will stand here, away from the flames and the warmth, to settle for what it is that I have, even if it is not fulfilling, even if I am cold inside.  I don’t really know if I deserve to have my spark re-ignited, so I will just fall back to the side of the fire, and watch others…..

Or do I live inside of the fire?  Close to the flame, ever risking getting burned?  Do I challenge it at every step, and have to watch closely and be aware, because anything could happen?  Feeling totally alert, aware, and alive, because I am surrounded by flames and I could get burned?  Dancing within the circle of flame, of life and light, because that is where I feel most in touch with all that is real? 

I pride myself in living inside of the fire.  Standing in it, basking in it, warming myself by it, dancing in the circle of life, love and warmth.  Sure, there is risk.  Plenty of it in fact.  You live inside a ring of fire, you are bound to get burned in one way or another.  Doesn’t matter though, not to me anyway.  Sure, I don’t like to get burned.  It hurts.  It takes a while to heal.  It makes me a bit fearful of the flames.  But, the alternative is more scary to me than getting burned.

The alternative of not having that warmth close by.  Of not feeling the vitality that is inherent in this life that we live, if we are only connected to its force.  Of never taking a chance on anything, for fear of what might happen.  The “what ifs” that seem to guide and force our every move and choice.  Not me.  I can’t live that way.   I wouldn’t want to live that way.  I want to be here, right now, and feel the pulse of the moment, and be ever present and vital and alive and present.  Sure, I have had my heart trampled on and broken repeatedly in my lifetime.  Yes, it has hurt, and each time, I have wondered if I could go through it again.  But I did.  And I do.  With no regrets, no looking back.  When I do look back, it is only with the eyes of love.  Of understanding.  An understanding of why I had to get burned.  Why the flames had to come so dangerously close.  Why I can live no other way.

I feel so sad for those of us that remain in the cold, in the dark shadow of safety, afraid to dance in the circle of fire.  Afraid of getting burned, or even, getting close enough to feel a bit of warmth. 

Come, stand inside the fire, dance around with me. Live. Love. Enjoy.  Truly be.


We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk the tables being turned
We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always comes with getting burned
But you’ve got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall
We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all
They’re so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire
There’s this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can’t abide
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire

Wearing a mask.

Halloween is just days away.  Not one of my favorite holiday times, but with a ten year old daughter, it becomes one every year at this time.  Her excitement is contagious; picking out the character to be for the year, putting together the costume, and lining up the makeup or the mask.  Anticipating the sweet treats, going door to door with our bags open, full of anticipation of what will get dropped inside.

I pick out a character to portray every year.  Since she was a child, usually pick someone that she can identify with through a movie or show.  One year, Dora the Explorer.  Mary Poppins.  Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas.  Wicked Witch of the West to her Dorothy, ruby slippers and all.  This year, I will be a witch again, because I found really funky tights to wear with my all black costume.  She is being a hippie, and although that costume would fit my personality so well, we can’t both be hippies.  After all, she is TEN, and that means, I am lucky that she still wants me to go along with her, let alone dress up…..

Anyway, this got me to thinking about masks, about the identities that we choose and put on within the span of our lives.  I wonder about why people choose the costumes and masks that they do for Halloween.  What makes the determination between wanting to dress as something really scary, really controversial, or traditional?  And, it got me thinking about the deeper issue of the masks that we wear in life.

There was a time earlier in my life, that I would wear a mask with my friends; a mask with my family; a mask with my teachers.  I would try to be the funny one; the loyal one; the strong one; the compliant one.  But at times, they all seemed to be different one from another.  There seemed to be different things at stake.  I had different levels of investment in each type of relationship, although all were important.  However, the older that I got, the more that I seemed to generalize whatever kind of mask that I would where to whatever company I was in, and it started to become more about what I was keeping in, then what I was portraying as my “character”.  So, instead of wearing a mask of confidence and knowing of self, I was really using whatever mask felt comfortable so that my true self could not be seen.  What if they knew who I really was?  What I believed in?  How I felt about anything and everything?  Wouldn’t they become frightened, intimidated, angry?  I was too scared to find out, so I kept up a facade that kept how I really felt and was hidden on the inside.

Over time, I have tried to determine what parts of self are really the true parts of self, and not just part of something that I have worn or created after all of these years, after so many Halloween parties and celebrations.  I think I have had a great success in figuring that out now, by identifying that which is most and truly important to me, and that no matter what I show to the world, if it is genuine, and it is me, in my entirety, that is good enough.  Maybe that will be a witch, or a cowgirl, or Mary Poppins.  But, no longer to hide what I have within, but to show on the outside parts of who I truly am, with pride and fun and fantasy. 

Just like we may spend an hour in the midst of the pumpkin patch, trying to figure out what hue of orange and how round or oval is the pumpkin that we are meant to take home, so do we ponder on and consider what we will show to the world by what we put upon our selves.  No matter what you dress as, pretend to be or fantasize about, always let the true you shine through somehow. 

Reminds me of this tune……..


What are you passionate about?  Where does your energy come from that feeds you?  How do you know what you most deeply care about, what really drives you to do what it is that you do?  To go toward that which you care about the most?

For me, to identify my passions, I read the depths of my soul.  I really listen, I mean, LISTEN, to what my soul is speaking to me.  The values, the tenets that guide me each and every day.  That get me out of bed in the morning.  That bring joy to me in big and small ways.  My passions are service to others; commitment to diversity, inclusion, identity.  My family.  Love.  Learning.  Teaching.  Writing.

What stands between people and their ability to pursue their passions?  Fear.  Fear that they will go in the wrong direction.  Fear that they will forego other duties, obligations, or necessitites by pursuing that which they desire, love, are passionate about.  The thing is:  aren’t you forgoing duties to your SELF by not following, or listening to your passion? 

What I believe happens to us when we do not take the time to identify, and follow our passion, is that parts of us, a vital part, dies inside.  We lose our identity, our depth, our life force, our vitality that feeds our souls, that fires us up to go after life and live it fully and with joy and  vigor. 

We all have passion for SOMETHING.  But, over time, if we lose sight of what that is, it starts to fade, the flame of our passion dies down to an ember.  It is barely visible, we are not even sure at those moments that it is still there, that passion that we have been connected to in the past.  Besides my love for humanity, and my family, and service to others, one of my biggest passions is writing.  Writing has been a vital part of my life since I was in high school, even more so in my college years.  But, for a few years, I lost that passion.  I became caught up in the needs of my life, the struggles that I was experiencing, and did not use my writing as part of my therapy, as an essential part of my life force.  I let it drift away for a very long time.

Now, it is back, it is back with a fury, and the fire is a blazing inferno in my heart and my soul.  And the light shines on and on, and will never dim again.  My life may become busy, demands may weigh on me, I may have other tasks that I need to cater to, but the passions will always be taken care of, will always be answered.

Without following and listening to the passions that reside within my soul, I am an empty vessel, I am less of myself than I have the potential to be.  I cannot be fully available to those tasks that I need to do, or to those that I love the most, if I am not truly living from my soul, and feeding the passions within.