Open space in my heart

Open space in my heart

You are here: Home » Inspiration » Open space in my heart

Posted on: October 5, 2015 • 0 Comments

I dreamed of my step-sons and my role as their wondermom last night.  Today was filled with healing the open space in my heart. Blended families have their challenges, yet it was my family for a long time.  Of course, I just so happened to be hiking in Yosemite today.  Surrounding myself with nature is where I tend to get the most clarity.

Yosemite is spectacular!  Everything is just so huge that the pictures can’t portray the magnitude of this place.  The cliffs jet up so high that at certain spots I have to tilt my head straight up to see it all.  Just like a kid watching a movie in the front row of the theater.  This is the first park that I have noticed many camping families.  This park is set up perfectly for the active families.  Bike trails that are paved, wonderful camping areas, and shower areas that reminded me of the set on the TV show Mash. Many of the previous parks have not been very populated and the hikes I take tend to have no one else on the trail.  Of course, today was not like that.  I was certain to be surrounded by families all day!  With all of the people around, at least I didn’t need my bear spray.

The 4 boys (my step-sons) came into my life when their ages ranged from 4 to 9.  Their love and enthusiasm for life was infectious.  I felt right at home with them very early on in our relationship.  I was able to be my true 7 year old self at all times!  Mackenzie was 8 at the time, yet with a larger family, creativity and joy multiplied exponentially.  Story time, hide and seek, craft activities and adventures took a turn toward a team sport and fabulous.  The boys weren’t afraid to express love, their desires for hugs, and their excitement.  Navigating life with 5 kids did have it’s challenges, yet what I experienced the most at that time was love, acceptance, and delightful reminders to love right now.  Those young boys evolved into 4 young men.

Those 4 teen boys transformed my life.  Initially, they did not share their feelings, want hugs as often and certainly did not express joy with the same enthusiasm.  They taught me about forgiveness and how to quietly love with all of their available hearts.  Prior to my moving out of our family home, the remaining 2 boys that lived at home spent more time with me than they had in years.  They gravitated towards just being near me and sharing their time.  They were less afraid of sharing their feelings and giving hugs.  I was in a very sad place then, as I knew this time together was impermanent and would come to an end.  No matter how much I tried to hide my pain, they understood that the family as we knew it was broken.  During that time we rejuvenated our relationship in a completely different way.  This time with the remaining 2 boys held my heart and soul together as the rest of the world fell apart.

Being an ex-step mom means that I am here for them, yet have no leverage to gain their time or attention.  So, I get none in the way I once did.  They are boys.  They are teens.   They have their own lives.  They are healing themselves, and they know I am here whenever they decide to see me.  In real time that means I haven’t seen them in many moons.   My door is open and so is my heart.  With my role as a stepmom complete, there is an open space in my heart.  It’s an open space not a hole.

Previously, I would have filled that space as quickly as possible.  It is so uncomfortable to have that open and vacant space which was once occupied with 4 amazing young men.  Actually, the whole damn thing is uncomfortable.  I miss them, yet even more than that I miss the exchange of love in real time.  The love that I shared with them, while I was in their lives, is in our hearts forever!  Nothing can take that away.  I simply keep my heart open to see what life will bring.

Open space.  Yosemite is filled with open spaces, beautiful trees, amazing mountains and trails.  If a tree falls or burns, the park rangers don’t replace that tree.  The process is to allow nature to take its course and let new growth organically occur.  In the meantime the landscape may look bare.  I strive to do the same in my life; leave space in  the landscape of my heart open in order to allow new growth to occur authentically in spite of the immediate discomfort.  I will forever love the boys!  I trust that is mutual, yet they too have open space in their heart for new growth.  I continue to send love and light out into the world for their highest selves.  I have no way of knowing how it will touch their lives; yet I just trust the process and send it anyway.



The symphony reminds me of life’s soundtrack

The symphony reminds me of life’s soundtrack

You are here: Home » Inspiration » The symphony reminds me of life’s soundtrack

Posted on: October 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

As my journey would have it, I lucked out on a free ticket to listen to the Eureka symphony last night.  My gracious hostess attends the symphony regularly with a friend of hers.  Yet the friend had other plans.  It was absolutely amazing!  The moment the symphony started tears came to my eyes at the sound of something so beautiful.  My heart opened and I closed my eyes to find myself right back in college.  Mozart and Beethoven were often played to soothe my mind while studying.

The transition of adulthood was challenging at times for me.  Music was what kept me afloat while I weathered the storm of early college.  Classical music saved my grades.  I remember purchasing a 10 pack of CDs of different classical composers.  It was such a joy to discover the amazing music as well as calm down the anxiety.  It was surprising how much of this classical music I heard as a child watching cartoons.  Bugs Bunny cartoons are filled with it.

In this flood of memories, I remembered my favorite gift of all times to receive as a young woman; mixed tapes.  My college boyfriend made numerous mixtapes of classic rock that he listen to and wanted to share with me.  I could not get enough of this new music.  I made him tapes of the alternative music I liked, yet I am not so sure it spoke to him in the same way.  The musical tapes were played so often that they warped.  I miss receiving those kinds of gifts and would love to receive a playlist of music that speaks to you.

Along this journey, I brought a few cds from my college and early adulthood collection.  It is absolutely incredible at the places the music takes me. It helps in the healing.  It reminds me of the joy at different times in life as well as the pain.  The pain now is easily transformed to peace.  That is such a surprising and welcome change!

“The CDs” have been a topic with much emotion for the past 12 years with an old beloved.  I realized that I did not want to release the music for it was one of the remain things that warmed my heart when thinking of the time of life we shared together.  The music was something that we both loved and enjoyed time together while listening to.  I was confused that the cds somehow held the love.  My fear was that if I were to release the actual  cds that I would also lose all of the love.  The past 12 months have continually shown me that releasing attachment does not take away the love in my heart.  Setting the physical objects or people free allows the love in my heart to expand and overflow into new things.  The worry of losing the love is vanishing.  I get to keep the love no matter what.  Nothing anyone can do to take away the love already given.  They can choose to no longer give love, which anyone is free to do at any time.  I choose to breathe in all of the love and release all of the attachment!  So guess who will be receiving a bunch of CDs upon my return?  Yep, my old beloved.

I have to smile as I realize some of the first questions often asked to new people in my life revolve around music and books they like.  Music is the soundtrack of our lives.  What we are drawn to gives an intimate glimpse into another’s soul.  Listening to the musical favorites of another brings me such a joy.  Music moves me to sing, dance, laugh, cry and stretch my thoughts.  I’d rather share music than watch TV any day.

Some of my most listened to songs/artists that speak to my heart right now:

  • Mozart
  • Beethoven
  • Dark Star by Jaymes Young the stripped version
  • Where are you now
  • Goddess by Banks
  • Fight Song By Rachael Platten
  • Let it go by Idina Menzel
  • Retrograde By James Blake
  • Clock work By Dan Aux
  • Unsteady by X ambassadors
  • Here by Alessia Cara
  • Most anything my James Bay, Jaymes Young, and Banks



Less of the same, rather than letting go completely

Less of the same, rather than letting go completely.

You are here: Home » Inspiration » Less of the same, rather than letting go completely.

Posted on: October 2, 2015 • 2 Comments

On my walk through the Redwood forest a few thoughts gained some more clarity.  I have spent a lot of time in the past doing less of the same rather than just letting go.  What  does that mean?  Kind of like the time I believed that I could just smoke less rather than quitting smoking altogether and magically it would be easier to quit.  That is not really how it worked out.  I would always return to smoking full time until I was sick of it and quit cold turkey.  Sure it was uncomfortable, but only for a short while.  Doing less smoking just increased the desire to smoke more and kept the discomfort lingering for much longer.  My experience of doing less of something that I need to quit tends to bring on a wonderful layer of guilt and destructive self talk.

I noticed that several other areas of my life fit this pattern of doing less of the same thing rather than letting go.  Something as simple as dealing with my neighbor who loves to feed my dogs.  She used to feed them real food which they promptly became sick in my house from.  I decided to be friendly rather than honest while avoiding an uncomfortable conversation.  I bought dog treats and asked that she only feed the dogs these.  She agreed and went through the entire box in about 2 days.  The dogs continued to get sick on my carpet.  The do less of the same behavior came up again, and I asked her to only feed them 3 treats a day.  Guess what?! They still on occasion had accidents in the house. In my distraction of getting ready for my trip, I did not take the 30 seconds to tell her to stop feeding the dogs.  My glorious friend who is house and dog sitting has to deal with an unruly neighbor who is determined to give my dogs 3 treats a day until I return and tell her not to.  I took the cowardly kindness avenue which is swiftly leading to a far more difficult conversation upon my return.  Had I just been honest with myself first and said no more food of any kind to my neighbor to begin with, this  issue would be over.  Yet it is not.

My career also comes to mind.  I had reached a point that I needed to stop doing what I was doing for a living.  I love the people, yet the actual job was no longer feeding my soul.  It had become a drain rather than the charge of excitement it once was.  In my effort to stay responsible, I was proposing a part time version of the same job. My thoughts were that if I did less of it then I would be rejuvenated.  The doing less was about to happen and then I woke up.

I remember being in the woods at the Appomattox river this summer, and realized that I had to quit.  Quit my job.  Quit the life I created in trying to do less of the same thing.  Quit my self punishment.  Quit trying to ease the discomfort of others and myself while avoiding the truth.  

Truth as I know it right now:  I want to be immersed in a community where it is warm more than it is cold.  Where there are trees to hug, trails to walk, water to kayak in, and yoga classes to take with friends.  I desire to create a home for myself where I can experience healthy relationships being authentically me without running into negativity from the past.  I just want to be!  I was busy thinking I needed to find my spot in order to bloom.  Actually, I need to bloom first, then everything will fall into place.



2 Comments for Less of the same, rather than letting go completely.

  • On October 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm (Edit) Sherolyn said:
  • You are giving me some serious thoughts. Perhaps I am doing the same thing. Trying to do less of something instead of just stopping all together. I know there is something else in life I want to do more of, and I need more time in which to do it. But doing less of the other is still limiting my ability to do more with what I want.
  • I do hope we continue to be friends, I’d love to be a part of the new beginning and healthier side of life.
  • You have been a great inspiration to me from meeting at work to reading your blogs.
  • Thanks for sharing such beautiful messages.
  • Reply to this Comment
  • On October 15, 2015 at 1:16 am (Edit) kspringfield said:
  • Thank you so much, Sherolyn! Friends we will always be!