You are beautiful


how do you feel when you look in the mirror?

what could you possibly do, put on, or change that would make you more beautiful than you are right at this moment?

Emily Dickinson said that “beauty is not caused. it is.”

your beauty …just is…it exists … in the entirety of who you are.

there will be flaws…

and differences…

but they make you uniquely YOU!

you are enough.

treat yourself with the same grace, respect, honor and kindness that you for do all things beautiful.

you’re worth it!


be better

20140223-212916.jpgwhen my daughter joined the local swim team, it was easy to become discouraged. there were children who had been swimming for several years longer than she and they had more developed skills. often, her coach would encourage her not to strive to be better than her team mate but to continue to work to beat her own swim time. with each length of the pool that she would swim, he wanted her to just shave a few seconds off the time. by doing so she would take the pressure off herself to be “better than or the best” and her skills would develop, she would get stronger as a swimmer and her swim time would get better.

pretty fun to stand at the end of the lane and cheer her on as she won…last place…next time, fourth place…and then second place…and on.

the pressure of expectation can have negative impacts on our ability to achieve our highest potential.

it’s not in striving for perfection…it’s in the process -giving our best every time so that with each step we become better than we were.

have a day or a result you aren’t happy with?

there’s always tomorrow…


let me brighten your day


i have described myself as “romantic” about having a garden. not “a romantic” but “romantic” which to me means that i love the idea but not the work, bugs or weeds. sigh. i’m not known for a green thumb.

the little cottage that we’ve moved into came with a couple of small gardens containing lilies, roses, red-hot fire pokers and something i haven’t identified as yet. although i’ve never had much success growing things, i find my heart responds to the beauty of the flowers in my little gardens.

flowers have appositive effect on our well being and can even alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.

how does alleviating a little anxiety or negative emotions and bringing a lift to your day sound?

flowers are a great way to express and enjoy a diverse range of emotions.

i can’t send all of you flowers but i thought i’d share a little virtual bouquet with you today…

20140223-004713.jpgred:bright…intensity…passion ignited…excitement…love…warmth…redemption…comfort…faithfulness

20140223-004858.jpgyellow:cheerfulness…sunshine…adoration…friendship…i’ll try harder…joy…pleasantness

20140223-005113.jpgwhite:reverence…light…goodness…purity…safety…simplicity…successful beginnings…faith


20140223-005436.jpgpink:calmness…taste of sweetness…appreciation…coolness…tranquility…grace…hope

20140223-005539.jpgorange:flames of desire…enthusiasm…fascination…energy… happiness…creativity… determination…attraction…success…encouragement…stimulation

20140223-005649.jpgpurple:love at first sight…enchantment…nostalgia…power…nobility…luxury…ambition…extravagance…wisdom…dignity…independence…creativity…mystery

one of the simplest ways to improve emotional health and wellbeing – flower. besides exercise and other personal lifestyle changes as stress relief, one can use flowers as a way to feel better and more relaxed.

flowers trigger uplifting emotions and enhance good feelings such as life satisfaction.

most people position their floral arrangements in highly visible places such as the living and dining rooms, and in hallways and entrance halls. meaning, flowers are placed in areas that say, “visitors are welcome.”

there’s no two ways about it, there’s no reason why we should let stress get the better of us. surround yourself and your loved ones with flowers, and see the difference for yourself.


put your feet up…you’ve earned it

20140223-000700.jpgi love that moment when i can stand back and look at a job well done.

deep satisfaction

a sense of accomplishment

and even relief

struggles and tears behind

i give myself an “atta-boy” and sigh…

confirming that it was well worth the effort!

Difficulties Produce Growth

20140220-223000.jpgare things a bit of a mess right now?

according to Von Moody, difficulties are like putting fertilizer on a garden in order to produce better growth and a more fruitful harvest.

if we can’t handle a little mess or getting our hands dirty with life’s fertilizer, Moody says we could be forfeiting some valuable benefits to our growth.

fertilizer is messy, smelly, and most unpleasant to work with; however, it will increase growth substantially.

no one enjoys life’s difficulties…they can be frustrating, maddening and irritating; however, once applied and overcome, they produce a stronger, more beautiful YOU.

go ahead…

throw a little fertilizer on it!

well, maybe don’t go looking for difficulties but use them to your advantage!


What Passion Does For You


“passion empowers me to do that thing i was created to do?”, you might ask.

“great…give me an order of passion and super-size it then”.

unlike courage, wisdom or skills, you can’t just gather passion.

passion is what compels your heart.

passion is what moves you out of your comfort zone and makes you willing to plunge into ambitious, creative endeavors.

passion inspires you to put more energy into something than is required.

passion encourages you to persevere even when it’s reasonable to quit; when there’s lots of evidence that it will never work, there’s no proof that it will, and from the outside, no one could blame you for giving up.

passion empowers you, compels you, inspires you and encourages you- giving you no other option but to keep nurturing “that thing” you were created to do with no promise of tangible success.

feel like you’ve lost your passion?

ask yourself the proverbial question,

“if i knew there was no way I would fail, what would I do?”


“if money were not an issue, what would i do even if i couldn’t earn money doing it?”

what is my passion?

i’m passionate about the heart of women and people in general.

i am passionate about the person that others have written off, the person nobody believes in, that no one thinks anything good could come out of them.

i am passionate about seeing the amazing possibilities within the heart of a person who is hurting and feeling hopeless.

i am passionate about encouraging the broken heart to work through the pain it has experienced and move forward on the journey of life and reach it’s fullest potential for wholeness and well-being.

it consumes me…inspires me…thrills me…

it feels like my purpose and makes the journey i’ve been on make sense.

now, it’s your turn…

what is your passion? what is it that empowers you to do your “thang”?

please leave me a comment below and share your passion with me. help me spread a little inspiration.



“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”
― Dean Koontz, Odd Hours

3 things to help children learn to process emotions


recently, my in-laws came into town and we planned a trip to the park with my nephew and my two grand children. we started out with three happy-go-lucky children who were excited to participate in a fun filled afternoon. things were going quite well, if i do say so myself…

deeclarknz.comthere was hanging…and smiles… there was climbing…and smiles…


and squirting water…and smiles…

                                 even the adults were finding there inner child…

and before we blinked twice…there were tears in abundance…tears brought on by the adults in the group who played on an adult playing field and left the children heart broken.

pawpaw played too rough for the grand children resulting in injuries (minor to the body but huge to their hearts)…and daddy played in a way that frightened my nephew…

there we were with three children with broken hearts.

what i witnessed was that at their tender ages, they did not know what to do with what they were feeling…

no matter how many apologies were given…the tears continued to pour.

i hugged each child and explained that although what the adults did was pretty yukky to a little kid, the offending adult did not mean to cause them pain or to hurt them…even though that is what happened.

i asked the adult to come over and say to the child, “i’m sorry that i hurt you.”

i then asked the child to offer forgiveness and say, “pawpaw, i forgive you.” or “daddy, i forgive you.”

my goodness…the tears poured out even more. my grandson said to me, “i can’t forgive him” and he walked to another part of the playground by himself.

i watched as he sat alone for a few minutes and, when he could he rejoined the group, as someone suggested we go to another part of the park and visit the animals.

as we walked, i noticed my grandson and his pawpaw walking together ahead of the group. pawpaw later explained to me that, my grandson had run ahead of the rest of us to catch up with him and as they walked, Jake said, “pawpaw, i forgive you for hurting me.” my husband then explained that he realised his actions were silly but that he had not wanted to hurt Jake…he just wanted to play and it turned out badly. he also promised not to play rough like that again.

as my husband told me about their conversation, i smiled because i realised that my grandson had taken himself out of the situation to be alone for a few minutes and when he had processed his feelings and was able, he extended forgiveness and moved on.

that was a proud moment for me…i saw maturity developing in my six year old grand child.

it can be frustrating working with children because they have not reached a place of understanding concerning their emotions or how to work through what they are feeling.

we teach children to walk, dress themselves, colour inside of the lines, and these skills help them make advances in life.

i think it is as important to help our young children begin to understand what and why they are feeling what they are feeling and give them tools for coping and managing their emotions.

they may not get the whole concept, but children are bright (my grand children can operate technology better than i can) and they are capable of building life skills that will benefit them on their life journey when they are dealing with emotions in friendships, family, work and other social arenas.

here are a few things that are important for children to learn concerning emotions:

1.  how to identify what they are feeling. am i angry or frustrated? do you realise that a child’s reaction to anger is the same or nearly the same as when they are frustrated? learning to recognise the difference and communicate it, will actually help the adults in their lives help them come to grips with how to handle the emotion effectively. children need permission to express emotions in a healthy way.

2. what to do with that emotion? suggesting the child take some time on their own to allow angry or frustrated emotions to settle is a valuable solution. however, it is more than a “go to your room until you calm down” response on the adult’s part. i have found with both of my grandchildren that even when an angry emotion is raw, when i remain calm and ask them if they are feeling angry, the emotion often diffuses quite a bit at that point. as we adults know, when someone shows understanding concerning what we are feeling, some of the pain is removed. adults should be good role models. show children how they can express their emotions. use show and tell, art and writing as outlets for emotional expression.

3. discuss and practice appropriate behaviour. children do not learn and perfect skills on the first attempt. we stand them up, we encourage them to take a step and they fall down. we then try again. it is the same with training any skill and it can be applied to teaching and training them how to maintain healthy emotional well-being. give children phrases and options that they can use when they are attempting to express themselves. help them practice the skills so that processing their feelings becomes as natural as brushing their teeth will one day.


by the way, we ended our park adventure with many more smiles than tears…and had a lovely afternoon.

i would love to hear how you help you children process their emotions. please stop by the comments section before you go and share your experiences with me.

here’s to smiling children and enjoyable afternoons,