Archive for the ‘Questions’ Category


The other day I ran into a friend who had said he was thinking of me the other day because someone had asked a question and he knew I would love it.  As I have written about before I am a bit obsessed with questions.  I think they are pretty fantastic and often open up new ways of being, thinking and seeing.

Instead of “How are you?” his friend has started to ask “Who are you becoming?”


It was so exciting to me on two levels, one is because he knew that I would like it, and it feels good to be known, to be thought of, to be seen.  And isn’t that what friendship is?  To take note of something that another would like, to share bits and pieces of life and to say in ways big and small… You Matter To Me.

And two because it is simply a fantastic question.  One that opens up so many possibilities for conversation and for truly engaging more deeply in one another’s lives.



And I thought about the deepening of friendships, of getting to know people on a new levels and how that happens.  As I look at many of my relationships and how they have deepened over time and I look at ways that they have gotten stuck, ways that they have gone sideways, forwards and backwards I am reminded that friendships are living breathing things that need to be tended with love and attention.  Sometimes we need to see people in new ways, to be reminded of who they are becoming, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of who we would like to become.

For today… give yourself permission, space and time to grow into who you are becoming.



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Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.

—Thomas Merton, in a letter to Jim Forest dated February 21, 1966 

I have a wise friend who when I was in the midst of a whirlwind of change gently asked if perhaps instead of focusing on the what of the changes, the what of what I wanted to be and accomplish I would instead focus on the who.

This one shift altered everything.

Rather than looking at my list of to do’s trying to figure out if I was “doing” enough, instead I focused on whether or not I was who I wanted to be in the mist of it all.

It forced me to discern what kind of a person do I want to be, to really chew on that, to figure out what it would truly look like.  Do I want to radiate joy, do I want to be a generous listener, do I want to live out my compassion, what does a life of intention and integrity look like… what kind of a “who” would that be.

Who would I be if I lived out my principles in a more intentional way, if I fully leaned into a wholehearted life of being generous in spirit, in love, in honesty, in joy.

So that has been my latest Erica Experiment… looking at the “Who” of me and letting go of having to know the “What”.

And what has surprised me is that the whats generally fall into place on their own, they don’t need the attention I was lavishing on them, writing and rewriting my to do lists, adding to my dreams, berating myself for having such similar lists week after week because there are only so many hours in a day.

Instead asking at the end of the day if I crossed off enough on my list I have been asking questions like: did I live out love, did I offer my gifts to another, did I connect in a meaningful way, did I share laughter with someone?

Somehow life seems more full, and with less stress I am getting more done, and with more joy, with more gratitude and more grace.

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I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.

And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.

I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.

The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearls. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.

But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.

Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

 So what are you waiting for?

What small choices are you making today that will bring you closer to stepping into the fullness of you, of your life, of the life that you are already living and is waiting for you to claim it?

We spend so much time somewhere else, in comparisons, in expectations (of ourselves and others) that sometimes we whittle away our lives not truly ever having lived.  We become to busy trying to fit someone else’s life or someone else’s expectations, listing to someone else’s voices telling us how we should live our life.

What pearls (with your name on them) are waiting to be cultivated?

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The above graphic is from Kristin Noelle.  Her site Trust Tending sends out these beautiful little Trust Notes each week and they are simply delightful.  She has all sorts of other great free and wonderful things you can sign up for as well.

About two months ago for a variety of reasons I decided to get rid of TV (note that I did wait until after football season was over).   Everyone has their vice right?  But for me it went back to looking more closely at my life and living more intentionally.  Although I didn’t watch a whole lot of tv I would find myself turning it on and watching things that after an hour I wondered… did I really need to know which flat they chose in London, or what the final outcome of the Extreme Makeover was?  And all watching the Food Network all it would do is make me hungry… and I wasn’t working on things that were truly feeding me.  Right now I am focusing on saving money, on putting my time and energy into things that deserve them and I realized TV didn’t fit for me anymore.  After getting sick and not turning it on for a few days I decide to take the plunge and I decided to make it into a fun experiment and get rid of TV, at least for the summer.

Giving up TV for the first week or so was a bit tough because it is so instinctual to come in the house and turn it on, “catch up” on the day and what I missed.  But I realize that with all of the access to news online and listening to NPR I am still up to date with current events.  I also worried about whether or not I would have something to talk about with certain people if we didn’t share our stories of the most recent episode of X show… but I am realizing that we are having better conversations about ourselves rather than some other stranger’s life.

Sometimes there is an echoey silence when there isn’t radio or TV on to fill it.  So it started me thinking about silence, and what would happen if I truly befriended silence, and thus the 40 Days of Silence  was born.

I have been reading and writing more, I have been listening to more music, I have been getting more restful sleep, I have been working out more, I have been praying and meditating more, I have been outside more, I have enjoyed my silence more, and one of the unexpected benefits is that I am more content.  When I do go online to watch my shows that I watch I do so intentionally, with the purpose of enjoying them, not as a default setting or as filler.

What has brought me the most peace is not having the constant underlying reminders of what I “need”, what I “can’t live without” and how I don’t “measure up” – the empty promises IF I got this certain product or service my life would be amazing.  The average American consumes over 3,000 ads per day, between radio, TV, billboards, newspapers, online etc. and it seeps into our subconscious coloring our opinions of ourselves and our lives.

Another unexpected benefit is that I have been having some great conversations as a result of this little experiment.  Turns out several of my friends have done this at the same time without really talking about it, and I have yet to find one that wishes they had it back.   It also has created some great conversation about what role the TV plays in our lives.  And for many it isn’t about cutting it out completely so much as it is being more mindful about it, for many it isn’t something they want to consider but the talk of an experiment to change something inspires them to think of some other experiment they have been toying with but haven’t yet done.

What experiment would push your comfort zone?  What kind of experiment could create more space for you to follow your dreams, to invite more fun and joy into your life, to create deeper relationships?  What kind of experiment could get you out of your rut and into your radiant life?


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Something to remember for the New Year!!

It is the New Year… time for many to take stock of where they are, where they want to be and make resolutions.  I have a love hate relationship with resolutions and so I don’t do them in the traditional way… but of course I love the opportunity to be able to think about what I want the next year to look like, how I want to shape my part of it, what I want to leave open to God/the Universe/Mystery/Chance, and what I just don’t even know is possible yet.

So instead of New Year’s Resolutions I decided to make a list of what I want more of and what I want less of:


Comparing- myself or my life (which is in process) to a static idea of what I “should” be, to my own projection or anyone else’s

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs


Saying yes from obligation

Saying no from fear


Feeling responsible for others

Being anyone but me


Live Music

Being around people doing what they love

Lightness of being




Looking through the eyes of love

Letting go


Working out

Laughing so hard my stomach and cheeks hurt the next day

Warrior Dash Days





Enjoying the moment- and being there with no guilt, simply joy and an acute awareness of the blessings that surround me

Letters- sending and receiving

Writing the Brave Letters- (more soon on that :))

Writing- books, poetry, letters, prayers, journal entries- JUST WRITE

Losing myself in beauty

Being outdoors

Remembering the truth of this statement and choosing the company of joy-

There’s only one address anyone lives at and it’s always a duplex: Joy and pain always co-habit every season of life.

Accept them both and keep company with the joy while the pain does it’s necessary renovations. 

~ Ann Voskamp


Making space




Sweat- loving the feeling at the end of a workout of muscles that have been pushed to their limit

Pride in the life that I have created

Letting love in

Capturing beauty

Taking time to celebrate all that I have done

Taking time to think about all that I want to do

Investing in myself, in my dreams, in my own life

Clearing out

Asking for help when needed- giving help when the opportunity presents itself

Glowing- with health, with love, with peace and contentment

Creating- being in the flow

Feeling good in my own skin

Deepening into me


Continuing to be a part of something bigger

Moments where I am so entranced by what I am doing that I forget where I am, what time it is, or what I “need” to do

Creating community

Helping bring out the light in others

Letting my own light shine

Celebrating all of the gifts that surround me every day

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There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen

I was reading through something I had written a year ago and was struck by the clarity, the depth, and the authenticity of it.

At the time I didn’t feel clear at all.  The words just fell onto the page and I just left them, too tired to “fix” them so they were “pretty and sparkly” (aka- perfect).  I have been reminded recently that the more I try to control things, to rearrange them to fit what I “think” they should be- the more frustrated, overwhelmed and overstimulated I get- and the less clear things are.

It reminded me too, that if we allow ourselves the space and the safety to be brave, to be honest, to be open we often have the wisdom within us to find that next step.  Even when we are swirling in the midst of chaos, if we are able to breathe deeply and tap into the core of our being, the Divine spark within us that knows that where we are is where we need to be will guide us there, one step at a time.

I am slowly remembering (again) to release my death grip on control and perfectionism and see the beauty in the process, in the midst of the In-Between.

So to my heart I vow:

I am no longer waiting to see the beauty until it is all cleaned up and sanitized accordingly- but instead see the beauty in the midst of the pain seeking the raw power of a vulnerable heart.

I am trusting in the process to be the important part, not the moment where you survey your work at the end of your life, instead the living the depth of it in the midst of it.

I am willing to believe that we can become strong in the broken places- and that light shines through in the cracks of our foundations and THAT can be beautiful.

I can give myself the same grace and forgiveness that I offer to others, and to surround myself with people who remind me when I forget.

To let these words apply to me too, not just everyone else:

We’re all stumbling towards the light with varying degrees of grace at any given moment.

Bo Lozoff

To remember even the process is beautiful.

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My writing voice has been silent.

For the past four years I wrote nearly every day, and then recently I just stopped… the words stopped, I stopped coming to the page, I stopped letting that little voice dictate my waking moments… and yet, deep down I knew that was what I needed to do.  To just live in this moment, to not have to capture all of the details, but to let the magic, the moments that have taken my breath away, the moments of pure joy and of excitement just bubble up.  To have trust that in time I would come back to the page, that the words would bubble over, that I would again have something to say, to share.  To trust that the words, the blogs and the books that I know are waiting will find their way- in time (which often isn’t the same as my time).

And it is busy, living my life, sending out books, responding to the heartfelt mail, e-mails and phone calls, building new relationships that this book is helping me to create and re-envisioning my priorities, my time, my relationships.  It is a time of transition for me, of jumping into this new piece of me, of owning my writing voice, of sharing my gifts in a new way.

When I was transitioning from high school to college my best friend gave me a card with this quote from Rilke on it, words that I have went back to time and time again:

…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
in Letters to a Young Poet

Transition is all about living your way into the answer.  For so long I had struggled with my purpose, I always knew Social Work was a piece of it, but it wasn’t everything, there was other things that were missing. And as I filled my life with other amazing pieces and experiences I would always think, yes this is a piece but it isn’t it- so I kept collecting.  Then last week I was invited by a friend (who is now a professor at our alma mater) to speak to a Social Work Policy class about my life, about my adventures in social work and the policy realm and where life has taken me since Nora and I sat in that very same class dreaming about “someday”.  “Someday” I’ll have stories like the professors have, “someday” I will have made a difference in someone’s life, “someday” I will be able to find and live out my purpose, “someday” I will move from learning about life to living it.

I was able to talk to the students about how one thing led to another, and what I had learned from the previous place I had woven into the new place, and somehow it all knit itself into this tapestry I call my life, where you can’t pull one thread without feeling the effects of all the others… the leadership I learned in Youth In Government, the respect for my body and healthy competition I learned playing high school sports, the love for learning that so many teachers instilled in me as I made my way through school, the love of friends and family that held me close in the midst of life’s twists and turns.  And it occurred to me that as a combination of decisions, of taking advantage of the opportunities that others provided me, some that I created through my own hard work and determination, and some pieces that were nothing short of Divine Intervention- I now had interesting stories, I helped create and implement policy, I have held people’s hands in the middle of the night as they face their darkest hour, I have published a book, I have a loving network of support and so many other things that I had dreamed about “someday” having and being.

And as I was talking about speaking to the class with another friend she just stopped me, sighed and said “let’s celebrate that you are living your ‘someday'”.

So today I invite you to take a moment, to sit, to celebrate your someday moments.  To be at peace that there will always be something you are living into the answers around, to enjoy the fact that as soon as you celebrate ‘someday’ it creates a place for new ‘somedays’ to be created.  So today, celebrate your ‘someday’.  And if today you are deep in the midst of muck may you “have patience with everything unresolved in your heart.”  And may you know you are well on your way to living into the answers themselves.

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Mitch and Daniel (one of my favorite pictures)

So these past few weeks with getting the books, starting the disseminating and sharing all of them has been amazing, powerful, overwhelming and lots of FUN!

People are sharing their stories of their response when they first read the book, letting me know their thoughts, letting me know they are proud of me for realizing a dream, telling me who they are going to get the book for and my personal favorite- I have been getting lots of great hugs!

A few of my favorite moments so far:

* At my celebration dinner after my first book signing our waiter turned to me and said softly “Wow, you are an author, that is amazing.  Do you know how amazing that is?  Can I touch it?”  And when I laughed and said, “Of course”, he took my creation, my baby in his hands with such reverence.  Here was this young man who didn’t even know me, but who wanted to celebrate, who wanted to share in a magical moment.

* Getting phone calls of people who are so touched by the book that they simply cry instead of speak, both of us knowing sometimes that words are simply inadequate.

* Seeing people’s smiles as they come up to give me a hug.

* Not being able to finish a meeting at the Coffee Shop because everyone was stopping by to say congratulations.

* Being able to have something in common with so many that is positive.

For so long after Mitch died it seemed that there was this immense outpouring of love and compassion, but the empty space was still there and the love that was given simply echoed in the emptiness.  People were coming by to give hugs, love and support, yet there was an air of sadness and a heaviness that was so pervasive.  With this it is so different.  It is a celebration of a dream reached, there is a lightness, a sense of hope, there is an electricity that is contagious.

A warning to those of you who are stepping forward in bravery- chasing down and achieving dreams is addictive!  The way this book became a reality was by setting little goals that ultimately led to this goal of holding my book in my hands.  And since I am still riding high on completing that one I want to set another goal.  I know the best way to achieve a goal is by telling people about it, people that can hold you accountable, people that can help you achieve it.  So here it is, what I haven’t even allowed myself to voice out loud yet.

By August 7th of 2012 I want to have sold 10,000 books. 

2 reasons:

A large part of who I am is because I am a Minnesotan and as everyone knows Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Thus 10,000 seems like a fitting number.

August 7th of 2007 is the day we lost Mitch, and I know to the depths of my toes that he would have been my biggest cheerleader in this effort.

One of his favorite songs was Imagine by John Lennon, and it seems fitting to set a lofty goal in his honor.  Mitchell was a dreamer, a large heart in a lanky body that loved hard and lived fast.  He would approve of me doing something that scared me, that stepped me out of my comfort zone.  He was constantly pushing the limits of life, in true boy fashion he was drawn to anything that had wheels and could go faster than your mother would approve of and he was forever encouraging me to stop caring so much what others thought.  “Erica- just live your life the way you want to.”  So this is what I want, and I am going to drive fast and stop asking questions that get in the way of achieving dreams.

Another lesson I have learned along the way, you don’t always have to know the how, you just have to have the desire.   I have found when it is right for me, when it is in service to the greater good, to my purpose here on earth it just unfolds.  As long as I continue to show up, work hard and listen to that little voice of love that I hold inside my heart things work out and the next step appears.

I also know that in living out the question I will get my answers.

So how will I get to 10,000?  I have a feeling that will be where the magic happens, where hard work on my part meets Divine inspiration and perfect placement.  Where by releasing my best work into the world it will find it’s own way on it’s merits and a little help from my friends. Already it has begun to do what I have hoped from the beginning… after people get it, they read it and realize, oh wow, this applies to my mom, my friend, my sister, my aunt… because the truth of the matter is that there are so many times we are in the In-Between… healing, learning, loving, hurting, falling, rising, and growing… and this speaks to that place.

So if you are willing to help out please share this post, this book, this blog, this Facebook page.

And if you want to find out more about the book go here.


And if you have read it, if you have shared it with  others I would love to hear your responses, your thoughts… by far that has been the best part of releasing this dream into the world… hearing how it has touched others.  Leave your comments down below, or on the Facebook page, or by e-mail- compassioninallthings at gmail.com

Thank you for filling me up with your love, my heart is full to overflowing.

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I have long believed that everyone at some point in their lives should go to therapy.  I think as long as you live your life in this world, you are bound to experience love, loss, belonging, feeling adrift, finding your purpose and wandering aimlessly.  Gifted therapists are worth their weight in gold and can help you find your way back to yourself when life pulls you a little off course.

After getting off the phone with my coach this last session I am even more convinced that everyone needs a life coach too.

The way I see it therapy looks to the past, releases you from it’s hold and invites you to begin to see a new way of life.  Coaching is the plan for your new life, it is an invitation to participate in building, creating and falling in love with your life.  The first time we talked my coach JoAnna
said that what she does is simple-  “I help people fall in love with their lives”.  I think that sums it up perfectly, and I haven’t come across a better definition.

My friends have been asking all sorts of questions about working with a coach, what is it like, is it worth it, what do you do?  And I thought I would share some of the things that keep running through my mind and the things that I think after I hang up the phone:

  • Of course!  It all (or at least most of it!) makes sense now.

There is something magical about having someone to listen to you, to have their sole purpose to help you untangle the threads of your life.  Someone there to be a compassionate witness, someone to help you through your stuck places, to see you through your struggle and celebrate your growth.

  • She is like a friend on steroids.

I enjoy our conversations.  I hang up feeling like I can tackle the world, and even better I have the action steps and goals to do it.  Her sole purpose is to help me get where I want to go and to be a cheerleader in the process.  There is something incredibly affirming about investing in yourself enough to purchase a cheering section for solely for you.  I still need my friends and family who are in my corner, waving wildly and smiling broadly, but there is something about having someone suit up on a regular basis for your game plan that is priceless.

  • I have honored my commitment.

When she first asked if I was willing to make the commitment to myself, to my dreams, to falling in love with my life I said yes… but I realized after hanging up that I really wasn’t sure.  To say yes meant that I had to show up, I had to put my money where my mouth was.  To say yes meant that I believed in me enough to commit to an investment, it meant I had to say no to excuses, yes to me.  Every two weeks I had to say yes, I worked on these things, or no I didn’t… in reality the only person that I was truly committing to was me, she got paid regardless of whether I did or didn’t do my part… but knowing that I was going to answer to another human created a different level of responsibility.  Before this commitment I kept talking about what I was going to change, what I was “going” to do, but there was always something that got in the way. And until you make that commitment “something” will always be in the way.  I finally realized that the world will not stop for me to grow/change/grieve/stretch etc..  So I needed to figure out how to grow in the midst of my life.

  • I have been challenged.

Although we laugh, although I always leave feeling better that I started, that isn’t to say that we don’t talk about tough stuff, that we don’t delve through the mucky stories that I tell myself to keep me rooted in fear and stuck in old patterns.  Part of her job is to gently challenge, to reframe and invite me to see an old problem/issue/habit in a new way…  and this is where the dance of past, present and future happens… uprooting old ways of thinking, inviting new patterns and habits and dreaming of possibility.

  • Wow, I did that.

In our sessions it is very clear that it isn’t just about to do lists, and tasks to check off, but part of the session is always devoted to celebrating what has been done.  It is important to take a moment to recognize all of the action steps in moving forward, it is about enjoying the process, not just the end goal.  And so often I found myself moving forward always in anticipation of the “end”, whatever that may be.  But this has helped to remind me to celebrate and honor the process too.

  • Clarity and Focus

There is something that happens in our conversations that helps to bring clarity and focus to what I want, to how I am going to get there.  By asking insightful questions, by offering different ways to look at something suddenly things seem to make a little more sense.

My book will be coming out in the next two weeks, and I know that part of the reason that it is finally here is because I said yes to investing in my life.  And without a doubt saying yes to coaching has transformed my life.  I have heard that time and time again from people who have done it. Mentoring, coaching etc., it goes by many names, but the outcome is often the same- breaking through fear, leaping into a life you love, celebrating new accomplishments and investing in the most valuable commodity- YOU!

What are you ready to invest in?  What parts of you need nurturing, unraveling, truth-telling, hope and kindness?

I invite you to consider coaching as a way to stretch just a little beyond your comfort zone.  See what coaching/dreaming/emerging/stretching might do for you.  Most coaches (myself included) will offer a complementary session to see if you will work well together.

For more information on my coaching philosophy click here.

For more information on my coach JoAnna (who just happens to be fabulous!) click here.

And if you are just ready to mull over some good questions try these:

10 Questions That Have No Right to Go Away- David Whyte

Or e-mail me and I will send you a pdf of 50 Powerful Coaching Questions– compassioninallthings – at- gmail.com


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Sound when stretched is music,
Movement when stretched is dance.
Mind when stretched is meditation.
Life when stretched is celebration.

Shri Ravishankar Jee

Life stretched beyond it’s current dimensions never returns to the same shape.  

We stretch, we grow, sometimes by our own choice, sometimes by choices that are made for us.  Regardless we are pushed, pulled and molded by life as we live it.  

So if change is going to happen, if stretching is inevitable, then perhaps we should be more proactive to inviting it in, to taking a first step in guiding the dimensions we want to be stretched in.  

Perhaps we have more control in our stretching than we had originally thought, perhaps we have more say in which ways we want to grow than we previously have ever admitted to ourselves.  So does life happen to us, or do we conspire with it?  

Two different ways of looking at things, but incredibly different places to come from… a place of power and a sense of an internal locus of control, or a victim mentality always caught off guard and too busy responding to things, too tired to create opportunity in your life. 

More often than not over the past few years I have become very conscious of which place I am coming from.  Recently I was struggling with a situation and nothing felt right in how I was responding.  And after talking to a trusted friend, I realized that it was a function of me giving away my power, me not taking responsibility for where I was being stretched, or taking any responsibility for where I wanted to go with it.  I was frustrated because someone else wasn’t responding how I wanted them to (misguided expectations which weren’t clearly communicated by me in the first place).  So I clearly communicated my needs, released my expectations, but more importantly realized that I could either lean into this growth or continue to be pulled  and stretched (the pain compounded by my resistance) and ultimately the actual outcome was the same, and it wasn’t in my control.   But I was in control of me.

The exciting thing was that it was so immediate.  Because I have been looking at my patterns and responses it was so very clear, when the stakes weren’t high that I was giving away my power.  Ultimately in the scheme of things it was a little hiccup barely worth noticing on the emotional landscape of my life… but worth celebrating because I now see it so much more clearly.  I am so much more aware of where my power, where my joy, where my peace comes from, what it looks like for me and how to create it.  I know where to go when I am being stretched and need support and where to turn when I want to celebrate.

So often it isn’t about what we can change in others or even the situation, because when it comes to others we can’t change them and more often than not we can’t change the situation… but we can always change our approach, our intention, our purpose, our direction.  Sometimes it is about holding on just a little longer, sometimes it is about letting go a little bit sooner, sometimes it is about trusting and acting on faith and sometimes it is about waiting for a little more evidence.

But the one thing I know for sure, a life worth celebrating is one that you carefully craft, holding the balance and tension of love and loss, growth and pain, hope and despair, laughter and tears.

It is a gift.

And in finding your way through, being stretched, being held, being guided, I hope you are learning to dance in the midst of it all.


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