To reach

shaped by thoughts

we are what we think

As I pass from here to there, and then to now

my condition is changed, I become __________

That blank is open, infinite, fluid – changing minute to minute

As I become, staying present in this  precious moment in time
I am different now

No beginning or ending, just becoming

May I be worthy and may I be grateful for this precious gift

as I being to be again and again and again…..

by Lea Austen


I have been mediating on the word “become” for a few days now.  We use the word “become” quite frequently in our daily conversations.  Statements like “I have become (verb- angry, sad, excited) about or because of some experience or event”.  Maybe it goes like this, ” So and so became a (noun- preacher, firefighter, teacher)”, or ” The weather became sunny after the rain this morning.”  Whatever the use, the word “become” in its simplest definition is “begin to be”.

I really like that, BEGIN TO BE.  It is empowering to me.  I feel like the word become gives me permission to move forward every moment.  It is positive!  I can begin to be AGAIN even after something uncomfortable or negative or embarrassing happens.  I don’t have to stay there, stuck, owning some sort of misery and unhappiness.  My personal “BECOME” allows me to begin to be again!

Face it, some times we just don’t get our way.  We don’t get what we want.  The big dream we had just does not manifest they way we had hoped it would.  There are so many events, large and small that influence our lives and the way we view ourselves not only on a personal level but in how we believe the world views us.  I know that these beliefs are not always healthy and we need to dig deep and find our higher power to overcome some of the challenges and road blocks that we face.  It’s easy to walk around grateful and thankful when things are going our way, but what about those other times.  How do we handle the disappointments?  The word origin is a great place to start.  Becoming what we are could be understood as happening, an occurrence that we may not have envisioned or planned, but which has put us in a position from which we learn our own life lessons while teaching something to others as well.  I believe that some knowledge, some gift, something of value is given to us when we follow our path. So as I continue my journey I choose to be grateful for each moment, and use the time I have wisely!

Celebrating Earth Day

It was so hard to choose just ONE image to show off my love of “earth” – especially here in the Lowcountry where I call home.  I wake up every morning so incredibly grateful to call this my home and to appreciate the wonders of nature around me.  Sunrises and sunsets where I can feel the angels above me.  Water that reminds me just how small I am in great scheme of life that not only keeps me grounded but humble.  Our majestic live oak trees.  The one pictured here is the “Angel Oak” and it is over 60 feet tall and over 400 years old.  The gorgeous marshland behind our home and all over our coastal community are home to so many animals and birds.  They also help with protecting our barrier islands and provides food for fish and wildlife as well!  I hope you enjoy some of the sites I see daily here in Charleston!

Surprise – Photo Challenge

On a recent trip to California I took a stroll around the resort where my friends and I were vacationing.  Rancho Valencia has some amazingly beautiful landscaping and some of the flowers they can grow do not grow well here in South Carolina.  When I returned home and ran my photos through photoshop I got this very exciting surprise.  This sweet little hummingbird was by the flower and I never saw it when I first shot the photo.  So this is my pick for this weeks photo challenge; surprise.



Could you be an angel?

I stumbled across this great article “7 signs you may be an angel” by Lesli White.  It really resonated with me so I thought I would share this list with you.  Perhaps you are like me and believe in angels. Perhaps you have stories just as I do about how angles have helped you in some aspect of your daily life.  Perhaps your intuition is so “tuned in” to angels because you too are one!

Here is what she has to say…

Angels are everywhere. The Bible tells us, “Do not show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2). Earth angels are around you this very moment. They were sent to learn certain things about the human condition and to guide humans on Earth. These angels are usually Spirit Guides in training, or Spirit Guides who have been sent back to Earth in order to learn and heal others. You can encounter them anywhere at any time. Often, the chance encounters with these angels have the power to change your life. While some Earth Angels can know and feel they are different and are often aware of their spiritual duties, others forget and have a hard time managing their life on Earth. Here are seven signs you may be an angel on Earth.

You Seem Wise Beyond Your Years

A major sign that you could be an angel on earth is being wise beyond your years. You are extremely intuitive and often carry a strong energy and connectivity to the Earth. You may have also experienced an awakening very early in life and perhaps were always attracted to nature, mythical creatures and the meaning of life. Most often you are told, “There is just something about you that I can trust.” This feeling that people have when they are in your presence allows them to open up to you about things they may not have even shared with those they are closest to.

Strangers Always Approach You for Advice

People often come to you to vent about their problems and their frustrations, including strangers. You delight in being able to help them. Some guides are there throughout people’s entire lives and others will pop up every now and then to help others with specific areas of life or goals they are trying to achieve. If you are an angel, your level of conscious may vary from another angel. Some are at a heightened state of consciousness, while others are masters in specific areas. Your ability to help others enables you to have a powerful impact on others.

You Feel a Strong Sense of Purpose

Many angels on Earth feel a strong sense of purpose and calling – even if they don’t know what it is. Most Earth Angels have a sense that their mission is involved in helping and teaching others. On the other hand, other angels may not feel a strong sense of purpose or calling. In fact, they may even struggle with feeling grounded and finding a purpose. You may not feel called to do any one thing. These angels have not yet discovered their purpose. If you find yourself always helping and guiding others without a clear sense of purpose, you may be an angel on Earth

You Have Intense Sensitivity

Another sign you might be an angel on Earth is having intense sensitivity to other people and violent situations. Most often Earth Angels are told “you are just too sensitive!” They may find difficulty in crowds. When they are surrounded by people, they feel bombarded as if there are too many people around them. They will also repel violence in any form. This level of sensitivity is a gift, enabling them to intuitively know where their services are needed. In these situations, they feel a strong sense of purpose and calling.

You Are Interested in Methods of Healing

Are you interested in philosophy and other methods of healing? Are you also interested in the metaphysical? Angels are most commonly known as messengers and protectors, but they are also energy healers. Angels are made of unconditional love and shining light or energy. Angels are literally made of the healing component of energy medicine: light energy. No wonder they are such powerful healers! They have the ability to restore your mind, body, and soul back to health no matter what ails you. If you’re interested in healing others, including their ailments, you may be an angel on Earth.

You May Be Attracted to Abusive Relationships

Relationships may be difficult for you to handle as you may find yourself attracted to abusive partners or those with deep emotional issues. This goes back to your deep rooted desire to help others. You may also have a history of personal or family issues and addictions. You may use things like food, alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of feeling different or being intimidated by their life’s mission. Those who go through these experiences often realign themselves once they find or realign themselves with their true calling.

You Have an Intense and Deep Personality

Angels often have an intense and deep personality and are not afraid to dig deep within your psyche and the psyche of others to find the truth. People think that you “think too much” and it can seem like you take things too personally, when you’re only reacting that way because you care. People who don’t know you think you’re closed off from people when you’re simply guarded. Many are attracted to your personality because there’s something different about you that’s alluring – people want to know more about you, what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling.



Angels among us!

I love angels.  I have always believed in angels and can feel their presence in my life. Heavenly angels and earthly ones who find themselves on a mission of comfort, kindness or reassurance. A whisper on the wind, a whiff of fragrance, a glint in the moonlight, a stray furry friend — angels sometimes hide in the everyday.

This morning I was up and out early with a very busy photo shoot day ahead of me. I am on a tight deadline for a local magazine and have been running here and there meeting clients for their photo shoots.  My car has had a slight steering wheel shake that became noticeably worse this morning.  As I arrived at my second appointment of the morning, I learned my client would not be able to make it and would need to reschedule.  This news meant I could take a few minutes at home before heading on to the next one.  The shaking really started bothering me so I made a last minute decision to scoot into my mechanics shop (where they know me by name and I have sent them on many a vacation I think) to ask them if they thought I could safely drive the car for a few more days when I had more time to take care of the problem.  Jason greeted me with a wave and a smile.  He stopped working on the car above his head and came right over to see how he could help me.  He walked around the car inspecting each tire and when he got to the forth one he gave me the bad news.

Not only was it NOT safe to drive my car the way it was, but I was lucky that I did not already have a blown tire and a potentially bad accident.  So I thanked my angels for keeping me safe and then Jason offered to put the spare tire on for the day.  He then  walked to the tire store to secure a new tire which he offered to replace that afternoon.  So yes, I am not only grateful to Jason for his kind act of service to me this morning, but he falls into the angel category in my book.

Jason is but one of the angels I know. My list is long but here are a few… My sister, who works as a hospice social worker and comforts families and those dying every day. My mother, who gives of herself and her time to so many people and causes.  My father, who brings joy to those living in retirement homes with his music.  My husband who brings peace and resolution to hurting people every day in his mediation practice. My friends, who offer me unconditional love and support without question or judgement, and the list goes on. To see the hearts of these people, their love for humanity and desire to be present for anyone who comes alongside them can bring me to tears. I am so grateful to them.

So as I reflect on angels in my life, I think fondly too of people who are no longer on this earth and whose presence I miss daily.  Even if I do have moments of sadness for their passing and the loss in my life, I know in my heart they are still with me.  They have been given their wings and are offering myself and those whose lives they touched a new kind of love and grace.  And I know too, that I will see them again one day, when I too receive my wings.

So today I am grateful once again to my angels.

Hygge – Do what the Dane’s Do!

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cozy, charming or special.   Even though this word is really hard to say it seems that people like having this recipe for a happier life.  In fact, hygge, was chosen by Oxford Dictionaries as one of their Words for the Year 2016!  Hygge simply requires being present and recognizing a moment that feels so sweet, cozy, charming, special or nice that you just have to name the moment.  So whether it’s making tea a verb by creating a ritual of making it every morning to a cozy evening in with friends where you’re just enjoying each others company to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.

It basically describes an ultimate feeling of coziness and relaxation. Since Denmark has been named the Happiest Country in the World, several times over, the rest of the world has been left wondering what makes the Scandinavian country so special. The answer? Hygge! (Along with, you know, free health care, education, and other social benefits.)

Hygge is also really a form of escapism. It’s about giving yourself a break, and retreating into a familiar, comforting bubble — and that’s anything from small gestures like lighting candles or drinking tea, to bigger ones like having a leisurely dinner with friends. With the world being particularly insane right now, it seems only natural that people would like the idea of a safe space away from all of that.

Some refer to hygge as an “art of creating intimacy” (either with yourself, friends and your home). While there’s no one English word to describe hygge, several can be used interchangeably to describe the idea of hygge such as coziness, charm, happiness, contentment, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship, and simpleness.

Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive boredom, cold, dark and sameness and the undefinable feeling of Hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and to break up the day, months or years. With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or a home cooked evening meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit.

By creating simple rituals without effort {such as drinking a glass of wine in a crystal glass to keeping fresh flowers on the table} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. They incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event.

Hygge is about being present enough to recognize and acknowledge an act, moment or feeling when the ordinary feels extraordinary.

So go make your ordinary day, extraordinary through recognizing simple moments and trying to have slow life lifestyle in a busy world.  Meik Wiking wrote “The Little Book of Hygge” if you want to pick it up for some inspiration and guidance.  Or just list those things you find happy and cozy and start there.  You might also check out the Happiness Research Institute!

I’m going to plan a week of hygge!  Join me.





Found this cool soundtrack on Soundcloud!

I have a very dear friend who recently turned me on to an app call Calm.  I am making this ten minute daily mediation a part of my morning practice.  And I am so grateful to her for sharing this with me. This app, I have learned, is the number one app for mindfulness and mediation with it’s purpose to bring clarity, joy and peace to our daily life. I am learning there are truly life-changing benefits to having a meditation and mindfulness practice. Today we focused on “meraki.”

meraki [may-rah-kee]   is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.  Meraki, a verb, or adverb, I guess, is derived from the Turkish “Merak” (Labor of love, to do something with pleasure), is applied to tasks, usually, creative or artistic tasks, but can be applied to any task at all.  It means to do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention.  Meraki is to put your soul into something, to put a little bit of yourself into it, be it singing, dancing, or painting.

Meraki is often used to describe cooking or preparing a meal, but it can also mean arranging a room, choosing decorations, or setting an elegant table.  You do it with a good feeling, with a light heart and a smile. With all your heart. Perhaps we can translate it as “Whistle while you work…” No matter how difficult a task, it is done with all your effort, with enthusiasm, with eagerness,
with complete love; it is done with all your heart, again like a labor of love.  It can be the simplest of tasks, such as making a cup of coffee for your husband; you made it with love, with devotion, with meraki!  Someone who loves life, lives it to the hilt, does everything with zeal, someone who lives for  the moment, for the now, is often, in Greece referred to as a “Meraklis”.  Every single thing he/she does, day in, day out, is done with meraki.

Everything made with meraki tastes, sounds, looks, smells and feels a bit better. Your attention, your dedication, your love, you being present in that exact moment – that’s the only thing required to live with meraki. In our busy lives we tend to lose sight of that exact moment. We are continuously living in the past or in the future. Quick, fast-paced, stress, schedules, emails, social media – hours, days, weeks, months pass by in the blink of an eye.  Maybe by living more with meraki we can lessen the stress, say no to things that are not serving our best interest or the interest of those we love, learn to turn off the phone and turn up the music, choose to put down the burden and pick up the paintbrush.

I think God wants us to live this way.  We are all works in progress and I have learned that the path towards something is as important as reaching the destination itself, therefore I invite you to join me on this journey of meraki.

Go and make someone happy!
Do something with meraki!




%d bloggers like this: