Clipping Ourselves Bare

Today I am sharing another Soul Glimpse. Each day, subscribers receive posts such as this, in their inbox. If you would like to receive a daily nudge to inspire deeper living, click here, and subscribe: Daily Soul Glimpse.

I once lived by an avid gardener.

One year, I watched as she clipped her lilac bush down to almost a bare nub. Why would she do this, I wondered?

Well, if you are a gardener, you might know. The next house, I moved, there was a lilac bush. I was thrilled because when I was a little girl, I had one in my backyard, and it is one of my favorite scents.

When I was older, my mother and I would find an area in the spring, where we felt we were stealing, as we cut the blooms and took them home. But, the lilac bush I now had, and could pick from freely, was quite barren. Maybe a few flowers here and there.

I remembered my gardening neighbor, and her advice to invite an abundance of bloom, but I never had the courage to cut off what little bit of lilac I had, and so each year as I hoped for more, I still only received a few.

Where I live now there is a row of what might be lilac trees (or whatever is native to California). Last fall, they clipped the tree branches bare. Again, why would they do this? I bet those beautiful flowers won’t come back, I worried.

Today, I walked by that row of trees, and as you see in the picture above, there are sprouts of green.

Oh, the faith of the gardener. And oh, the promise of nature.

Today, I did a bit of clipping myself- wardrobe clipping that is. I got rid of some clothes that either no longer fit or I no longer felt pretty in. I did this knowing, I’ve little money to replace them just yet. I clipped my wardrobe almost bare anyway, just like those trees. And the lilac bushes.

Do we have the courage to clip ourselves bare? To take our lives, ourselves to a place where it looks as though we might not ever return? Are we willing to remove what we know to be sprouts of beautiful potential, and have faith and knowing, when the time is just right, blossoming will begin again?

Perhaps this is not necessary for all of us, but I have found in my own life, it is the only way to experience the great promise of abundance yet again.

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The Soul Reporter

Where the Magic Happens

Today’s Soul Report: Further Embracing

In times of frustration, creative or otherwise, ask- what can I embrace now?

Yesterday, I wrote an honest post about my creative/work struggle (click here to read). My ending question was: what can I embrace now, until I’ve had enough- enough of the puppy’s paw on the nail- enough of the pain of my frustration?

I had no answer until I walked out of my front door, red umbrella in hand. It was raining and I had to pick up my daughter. Being carless since the accident, it is one of life’s mysteries and blessings, that her school is within walking distance. Now, one could think it was not one of life’s blessings, to have hail fall once I stepped out the door, as it did, but it soon stopped. Rain is not common in Southern California, so really how often do I have the opportunity to walk in the rain? I embraced it, and it was soft, calm, and in a strange way, purposeful and delightful.

There was something else I had embraced after I wrote that post, which was less obvious until it occurred to me this morning. While talking to my father on the phone, I embraced a rather embarrasing, yet persistent impulse, which was to ask him if I was a good writer. You know, those “singers” on American Idol who can’t sing, yet their moms and dads tell them they can, but they really can’t- was I one of those? But more than this, my little girl wanted to know- Daddy, am I good at something? Validate my purpose and talent, daddy.

And he did. “Yes,” he said, “you are a good writer.” In a way, the sad, neglected, little girl needed permission to do her art, and dad gave it. At age 39, his words brought a tear, and liberation to move even deeper toward me.

This is not to say, we need this validation to do our art. I’ve written hundreds, if not thousands of posts, and essays, unpublished, with no validation whatsoever, and in some cases we might not ever get this from our mom or dad or whomever would feed this most for us. But, what I am observing, as I push more and more of myself forward into some sort of artistic and helpful expression is, to bring all of who we are to it. This is where the magic happens. Where we speak deeply to others, where we feel the most alive, and at home.

When we do create something, what makes it move people beyond just the giving of information or our art, is when we put our whole self into it, and not just a part of our self. Especially, the part who thinks she should do it a certain way in order to be liked. To move, and be in the fullness of that creative current, that indestructible life force, is to bring our whole self. I’ve suddenly noticed how people write. I notice a certain generic style and this is fine, but I don’t notice a voice. A person inside the message. The life force vibrating within it. This is not necessary for us to learn or even be inspired, but maybe it is to be moved. Really moved.

We went to a screening last night of a movie that will be out at the end of March. It served the purpose it had- it entertained in the moment. It was funny at times and had interesting images to be taken in by, but once the lights came on, it was over. The movie did not linger. It did not stay with me, and this is fine. But the movies, which do, like Shawshank Redemption for me, lingers, and continues to teach me, and often shows up when I write. Rumi’s poetry lingers, and does more- it awaknes and enlivens. Once, on a cloudy Minnesota day, I sat outside and read an entire book of Rumi poetry. When I was done- my insides were swirling as it is said he did- the whirling dervish. In a way, I felt high. His magic literally moved me. It went somewhere deep. It’s rare, but it happens. And I guess as I write this out, I see this is the instrument I want to be. No small order.

My daughter who is an actor, admires Meryl. Yes, cliche- she is one, if not the greatest actress of our time, but not only does my daughter admire her, she wants to give what she gives. But she, will admit, wanted that yesterday. That’s the perfectionist. That’s the ego. Someone asked my daughter, what Meryl was doing at 19.

“Meryl was going to school,” my daughter said- and so is my daughter.  If we continue to keep that desire within us, and allow that intetnion to move us, it will begin to reveal itself. We will begin to see not a copycat of Meryl or Rumi or whomever, we will begin to see ourselves. Our essence will be within what we give. Not just in our art, but to every person and experience we meet.

This is where the magic happens.

Once we find our voice, which means after some time and probably with lots of practice, a personality or a style emerges out of all the parts of our self. I had no idea the last seven years blogging was not about being followed and getting comments and having my blog turn into a book. What it was really about was turning a journal writer into another kind of writer. To turn my insights and stories outwards, first to practice so the reader understands, and than to find a style, a self- I did not even know was there.

That little girl, who I have often denied, who needed to hear her dad say, she is a good at something, can now be brought into the mix of what is me. The less afraid I am of all the parts in me, the less I resist and deny my parts, wholeness arrives and embraces the fullness of creating, loving and living, and that paw is gently removed from that nail.

Listen to Adele’s words in this video, from AmericanVogue 


The Soul Reporter

Go Deeper

Today’s Soul Report: The Spiritual Life

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. ~Buddha

I heard about a man who left his wife and children to pursue a spiritual adventure. I listened to a man preach from the Bible, and yet he smoked and drank. A woman says, “I am a Christian, but I don’t know enough about the Bible to have a conversation about it.” I see religious politicians on their soap box to reform homosexuals. I’ve called myself spiritual and have found myself intolerant of others.

If we call ourselves Christians and participate in self-destructive behaviors, while preaching the Word- I say, go deeper. If we call ourselves spiritual, yet find we are increasingly intolerant of others- I say again, go deeper. If we think we can’t be who we are without leaving a relationship or go om with the monks, again, go deeper.

Our spiritual life is not intended to stop once we proclaim, I am Christain, I am spiritual. I am this. I am that. The spiritual life continues. It expands. Deepens. Widens. A spiritual life need not restrict or exclude. Condemn or cut us off. And further the spiritual life has everything to do with who and where we are right now, which means the smoking, drinking, judging, leaving- whatever. It has to do with ourselves, and everything that means, some of which we know, most of which we don’t.

The spiritual life is first of all a life.
           It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived. ~Thomas Merton

There is a disconnect happening, at least that I see, and I believe it is because our awareness of the spiriutal life is in our heads. We listen, mostly, to the ideas in our head that we believe to be true, instead of listening to our soul. In order to go deeper, we must move our awareness away from our heads and into our soul space. Beyond this, I am not sure, but the soul is where I see, is the next space for humanity to move.

The soul speaks a different language. It’s more subtle. Flexible. Honest. It might speak to us in images or feelings or words, which surface spontaneously. Once there, we will be moved to spaces within us that might frighten and overwhelm us, but as I said in my previous post, the only way out is through and I do believe, many of us have yet to get over many of the experiences we have had in our lives. Our childhoods still haunt us. Traumas are still buried. Dreams ignored. There is a lot there to realize. And no matter what cliches or beliefs we hold and proclaim, if there is something troubling our soul, the only way to move through it is to look at it. Connect to it. Learn from it, and therefore grow because of it.

To live deeper and grow, we must move beyond our superficial and lazy way of living the spiritual life. We must question our current beliefs. Stretch our commitment beyond saying the right things or accepting the right savior. To say or think any thing that we have not fully realized from within does not make us of sound mind. It may provide some relief, and have us put off what we know we must do, for another day. But, if we want more inner stability. More wisdom. More flexibilty. Freedom. More of who we are- then, we must go deeper.

I guess it comes down to this: do we want something lasting and true or do we want something superficial and convenient? Do we really want to know who we are or just think we know who we are? Do we want to commit to living deeper now or later?

For those ready to excavate the soul, go to the “Soul Work” tab to learn more, and fill out the form. I’m here to be a guide, if you so desire.


The Soul Reporter


You- not you over there. You- right here.

Today’s Soul Report: Scrubbing the Toilet

I was making rather merry this weekend celebrating my 13-year anniversary. So, today back to Soul Reports.

Last night, some of us were on the red carpet (and if you were, and reading this, I want to say, hey—–(shout-out)) while others of us were scrubbing toilets (and if you were, and reading this, I want to say, hey—-). Yeah, you are just as special as those glowing beauties at the Globes. At least these were my thoughts as I scrubbed my toilet, folded laundry, and cleaned the sink during commercial breaks.

I used to feel inferior. Let down. Dismayed. Why aren’t I on the red carpet? Why aren’t I important? Well, back then it seemed like a perfectly rational thought. Today, however it makes me laugh. Ummm- I am not an actor. I don’t make movies. Why the hell would I be on the red carpet? They are where they are because they did the work to be where they are. Simple, therefore no need for pity and drama and cry baby fits of, why me? 

So, as I scrubbed my toilet I thought~ I am cleaning and santizing and beautifying my home for my family. A worthy, worthy purpose. Seriously, I said this. Wasn’t it Mother Teresa who said, “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” This, my soul searching friends, is a great leap for me. And here is why….

The last few days, I’ve been saying these simple words to myself- I want my life. I want me. It is like, duh. Of course, I want me. I want my life. That’s all I got, but that’s not how I’ve been living. Like many of us, I imagine, are busy looking at other people’s lives and because we are inundated with the glamorous lives of others, it’s easy to think ours is obviously not that great, and that somehow we must be failing.

For some crazy ass reason, I watched two episodes this weekend of Kim & Kourtney. What I saw were these people, although beautiful (well, in my opinion Kim), wealthy and going around making appearances, had drama and instability in their relationships and their character failed to charm. To expand on this “reality”/celebrity hyped-culture, I will share a little poem I wrote as part of a “contest” my daughter got me in as she kept posting her quirky little poems on my Facebook wall (warning- by posting this, you might have changed your entire opinion of me, for it is a little weird):

You’re listening to Martin Luther King. Smeagol found a ring. It’s the darndest thing. You think it’s all about lemons and love, but really its about fishnets and gloves.         The shallow shall prosper. The weak will intensify. The spirit is petrified. God (and Martin Luther King) are mortified. And your mom’s rhyme can’t help but be philosophized. 

The point is- our spirits are petrified (and thankfully can never die). It appears the shallow are prospering, and the weak are intensifying. I am not one to give God a personality so I don’t actually mean he is mortified (it was said for the art). But—-if you are like me, thoughtful of the soul, and more than fishnets and gloves- then take heed. We are the ones to settle this greed.

Okay- enough of the poetry. But really. And maybe that is not your call to heed, but whatever it is- when I began this post what I really wanted to say to you (and also to me, as I do) WANT YOUR LIFE. Want you. There is no one like you. No one- in all that you can do. Okay, I can’t seem to stop rhyming. 

And here’s why it is important to declare that you want you. That you want your life. Because if we do not, we miss what is sitting right at our nose, maybe closer. There are opportunities right where we are at, but if our eyes are on the red carpet and we aren’t even there, or on Kim Kardashian, and we aren’t even her, then how can we be us? How can we see what’s in our life, right now? How will we ever know what we are capable of? How many lives we can change, whether it’s only our own, or our families, or even the world?

This declaration seems like such common sense, but as we know common sense is not so common, so today I thought I’d share this very common sense. Say to yourself, I want me. I want my life and watch what unfolds (even if it’s scrubbing a toilet).


The Soul Reporter




Soul Work

Today’s Soul Report: Soul Work

Yesterday, I wrote about being open. Yesterday, I lived what I wrote. Today, I intend to do the same. But, back to yesterday- in my mind, I saw myself getting some work done in the afternoon, but instead I opened- and took some time with my morning pages. From there, I stood on the sidewalk and looked at the sky and all I wanted to do was walk. So I walked. As I walked, it became clear what my next step would be- to introduce Soul Work (I’ll say more about that in a minute).

When I returned from my walk, it was time to get my daughter and begin dinner. When I finally sat down to write out my plan for Soul Work, my daughter came in with some news. I put my work down and gave her all my attention. And then, I stayed up until 1:30 creating my ‘Soul Work’ page, located here on this blog (look up). The only reason I am telling you all these somewhat boring details is to share what I learned- if we stay open, every step to make the day complete and full, arrives. Had I not opened beyond my agenda-riddled mind, I would not have gone on a walk. Had I not gone on the walk, I may have, instead sat at the desk spinning my wheels, wasting time wondering what I should be doing.

See how efficient we can be, when we are OPEN.

Now- Soul Work. I am not going too far into what I mean by Soul Work (because I did that last night until almost 2 am and if you click here you can read more) but, one description I will give is a quote, which explains it: “The only useful purpose is to turn within and realize. There is nothing else to do.” (Ramana Maharishi) What I do want to go into more are reasons why this IS the only useful purpose.

Here is one reason:

The places unseen are what cause the most trouble.

The news my daughter gave me last night is too personal to share here, but what I will say is by coming to me, and sharing what what none of us saw, was we finally did see, and in us seeing, she could see even more. And for me this is what Soul Work is about. We tend to want change to be more complicated than this- you know, 10 steps to enlightenment sort of thing, but really it is about SEEING, and then it gets complicated because there is A LOT to see. But first steps, first….

So, if I were to give 10 steps to enlightenment, my first step would be to SEE. To LOOK. To PAY ATTENTION- to how you feel. What you think. Where you are standing right now. What you are holding inside. JUST STOP AND LOOK, and to help even more, share what you see with someone else. Maybe this is why confession was/is done. I never went, and when I see it in movies, it always looks kind of creepy, but there is something about confessing what we keep hidden- the secrets we don’t want anyone to know about, that shifts our behaviors. Because the places unseen are what cause the most trouble.

I will continue to share more reasons why Soul Work is the only useful thing to do.


The Soul Reporter

Dig In, and Get Open

Today’s Soul Report: Opening

Not much to report today, except this:


Will we keep the gate open as our desires come to greet us?


They are our desires, so let them in. 

I don’t mean to be so simplistic today, but I am quite tired. I think there is something profound here, about staying open, as simple as it sounds, but this is not always what we do, is it? We are often quite closed, aren’t we? So how then, do we open? And further how do we stay open?

Recently, I begin by simply stating in my mind my desire to be open, and to stay that way. I see myself at the edge of a cliff, knowing my desires are here, meeting me. I see myself continuing to stand there, at the edge, an elegant wind blowing through my hair, and I look. Listen. Notice. And, respond when needed. Always staying open.

What more can I do? When the call comes, as one did today- for an opportunity to possibly earn a bit of money, I stayed open. When my mind feared another responsibility, I returned to my open space. When I wondered if I even know what I am doing, I stayed open. Again, I don’t mean to make this sound so simplistic. There was inner work, which had to be done to do this. The untying of deeply rooted knots. The facing of fears and obstacles. The clearing of space inside myself. But, anything can begin with an intention. A vision of seeing ourselves as open.

Do this now…when you think of yourself as being open, what does this look like? Return to this image, again and again, and intend to stay open. What obstructs our openness will be revealed. We can face it, and stay open. As we do, our heart, our mind, our soul, our eyes open wider and wider, and so will our lives.

Dig in, and get open.


The Soul Reporter

Find Your Bliss

Today’s Soul Report: Find Your Bliss & Express It 

Last week, I saw a woman roller skating. She appeared happy. My daughter said, “I see that woman a lot, skating.”

I’m guessing it makes her happy. It is her bliss, and it appears she does it often.

My bliss (well one of them)~ sitting in the sun with a cup of tea. It’s been awhile so I’m off to do that now.

While I sit, I discard my hefty to-do list. A list I’ve had for many years. A list I’ve added on to. A list, where I’ve crossed some items off. And a list, I no longer care to have in my possession.

My bliss~ allowing whatever is to meet me, to meet me, and no longer needing a list.





Which leads me to this…

A sunnier spot to sprawl, on a freshly mowed lawn. I wish I would have done this all day….. Becuase today what I really crave is S P A C E & quiet.

I used to think only the ocean was big enough to take away my troubles and cares. My tight mind and make it blank, but looking up I see that the sky takes it too. Maybe this is why that woman skates. Yes, it is her bliss. It makes her smile. But really, what it does is create space in an otherwise clutter filled world, where we do-do-do, overcompensating for what we lack-lack-lack and fear-fear-fear.



Find your bliss. If it’s roller skating, then roller skate- often. We all need some S P A C E, probably more than anything else. And we can find it anywhere. In our backyard, if we have one. At the ocean, if we are near one. In our souls, if we dig deep enough. And if no place else- the sky that surrounds us.


The Soul Reporter

What I Know For Sure

Today’s Soul Report:               What I Know for Sure

Oprah Winfrey has a column in her magaizine: What I Know For Sure

Here is what I know for sure~ something always comes. Ok, what the heck do I mean by that? I mean- I’m never stranded. Never without assistance. Words. Wisdom. HELP. Now, I don’t always trust this, but deep down I KNOW THIS and when I really KNOW this, then I’ve nothing to be insecure about, and neither do you.

Example: I have been sending in posts to an online journal to be considered as a regular contributor. Not knowing they would publish them, thinking they wanted to see my abilitiies and content, I sent them previously published material from my blog. Now, I may need to resend new material. I shared this with my husband and he said, “Well it’s not like you can’t produce.”

Ah, yes I can produce. Something always comes. An idea. A thought. An insight. An experience. And if nothing new comes, I’ve lots of “closeted” pieces I can dig out and freshen up. No worries.

Meryl Streep has been asked how she does what she does- she usually doesn’t have an answer. She fears if she tries to figure it out it what she does might stop. When my husband told me I can produce, for a moment, I doubted. Can I? Will I? What if it stops?  What if I have an opportunity and I fumble? 


Here is what I know for sure, something always comes. And if I use what comes, follow it’s direction, then every day I will be spent. Cup once again empty to be filled again tomorrow.

     Now I’ll play Oprah~ What do you know for sure?


The Soul Reporter