10 Things That Are Helpful To Know About Grief

At 7:47 am this morning, my phone signalled that I had a text. I was still asleep and not quite sure I was ready to wake up. I almost ignored it. However, at the second beckoning, I reached for the phone and read, “if you get up and get dressed there is a big seal on the beach where Jake and Ella play.”

My husband knows I get very excited when I’m afforded the opportunity to be close to sea creatures. How close depends on how safe I’ll be. Nonetheless, I usually want to give it a go.

Yesterday was the first day of spring here. I could tell today was going to be a cracker of a day because sunlight was streaming through my window and beaconing me to accept his invitation.

I dressed quickly, grabbed my camera and made my way across the street to the beach where my grandchildren love to play when they visit.

As I approached the shoreline, it was like the sea and it’s dwellers were dancing with joy electrified at the birth of springtime. It was amazing! I wondered what I had missed by sleeping away morning hours as I often do.

The air was crisp, the cerulean sky was energizing and my heart was pounding with excitement. This was going to be a good day.

As I turned the corner, sure enough, there was a huge seal lying on the beach. The sun was casting a glare but I took a photo anyway. It didn’t matter.

I thought, “it’s not celebrating the day like every other creature I’ve seen. It must be sunbathing”. The closer I got, it didn’t move, didn’t scurry away as I expected. It was still, covered in sand, motionless. My excitement turned to worry. I wondered if it was alright.

I got as close as I dare, sat snapping photos in every direction waiting for it to make a move because of my presence. But nothing.

I called out to it, it ignored me.

After a while, a local who was walking his dog came inquiring if it was alive. I affirmed that it was but not moving. He explained that she (oh, “it” is a “she”) had been here yesterday with her new born pup but the pup died.

Died? She lost her baby? Yesterday?

Suddenly, my trip to the beach this morning was bitter sweet. I was in the presence of a mourner.

I sat with her for over an hour talking to her about what I imagined she must be feeling. For my heart was familiar with the pain of grief.

Shock. Fear. Loneliness. Anger. Exhaustion. Emptiness. Sadness.

She lifted her head and looked at me. Her eyes were sad and I am sure that her mouth had formed a frown. Maybe I’m crazy, but I sensed her broken heart. I think she sensed I was offering understanding.

I continued to talk to her.

She stretched her neck, opened her mouth and bellowed a deep moan.

“I know, it hurts. Loosing something we love, hurts. And it’s heart wrenching. I know.”

At that, she lay back down, motionless.

From that moment, my heart was faced with looking at it’s own experience of grief.

Many years have passed since the day I was awakened to the experience of grief but I’ve learned that grief has no expiration date. The sting is not as shocking but it never ceases to amaze me how unexpectedly it knocks at my heart’s door.

I lost my fiancé in a car accident caused by a drunken driver when I was 22 years old. I knew nothing of death. I did not know how to grieve. In fact, I felt completely lost.

I promise, I will share my story with you. After all, it is part of my journey to finding emotional healing. But not today.

Today, I want to share a few important lessons I learned about grief.

1. The shock hits like a lightening bolt. Prepared or not (and I categorically was not prepared), it’s a sucker punch to the heart.

2. Bereavement is like a waterfall. At the beginning, it seemed I had been plummeted to the pool below, tossed and tumbled in the fury of the flow. I felt powerless and numb. I was desperately hoping that I was moments from waking from a nightmare.

3. Death and grief make people uncomfortable. There were awkward encounters.

4. People offer support. It was valuable even when I didn’t know how to accept it.

5. People tell you things that are not true about grief. They mean well. It’s important to be honest with them when what they say doesn’t help. You can help take the pressure off of them by assuring them that just being there is more than enough.

6. The world doesn’t stop. It’s hard for others to understand that when their life resumed to a state normalcy yours didn’t.

7. Normal feels completely foreign. You are forever changed. Grief is not only about mourning what you lost but the process of discovering a new normal.

8. Grief does not submit itself to a time limit. Times does not heal all wounds. Your response to grief will change over time and the intensity of the emotions will decrease.

9. There are grief triggers everywhere. Don’t panic. After 32 years, today, when grief was triggered by a saddened seal, my thoughts revisited the pain and my heart reached out in my blog hoping to help a hurting heart.

10. When I was ready to live my life again, it did not mean I was disloyal to the one I lost. Although my life was forever changed; living, loving and pursuing happiness was proof that the love he left imprinted on my heart made me stronger, better, and bolder. I allowed his legacy to be about embracing life rather than the devastation of loss.

💖now that you are gone, my heart is broken. because you once were here, it is completely filled with love.💖-unknown

Anyone who has lost a loved one knows you don’t “recover”. Instead, you learn to incorporate the absence and memories into your life and channel your emotional energy into others, and eventually, your grief will walk beside you instead of consuming you” -unknown

Finally, if you are grieving, listen to your heart. Ask for help when you need it. Talk about your loved one when you need to (you will have a trusted friend who will know that bringing up the subject is a healthy thing to do). Feel. Cry. Love. Remember. Live. Hug…hug those you love…ALOT.

Reader, if you have been in the presence of a mourner and feel they may find some comfort in what you are reading, please share this post. However, please make it clear that they should read it when they and their heart are ready.

Sending my love and a great BIG HUG!

Morning Dew

I have had a few early mornings with my camera lately (the weather is co-operating recently). Yesterday, everything seemed to be glistening with dew. It was fabulously beautiful. A couple of spiderwebs caught my eye…so, I went with it.
dew is the fruit of a clear, calm, quiet sky



quickening life



Grace is similar to dew





bringing softness, refreshing and fruitfulness to my heart

Finding Seedlings of Happiness Beneath the Weeds

September is the first of spring here although there are no guarantees for warmer weather for a while yet.

Anticipating spring and summer, I have been waiting for the garden fairy to come clean up my gardens. I’m not quite sure what her problem is as I have seen the work she has done in the yards all around me like the original energizer bunny of mulching and weeding. Major garden cleanup involving pruners and heavy cutting is NOT on my list of favorite gardening activities. Sadly, she just refused to show up at my house!

What’s that you say? No garden fairy? Shut the door!😩

My yard is extremely overgrown and looking more like a South American jungle then a place to relax with a glass of cold lemonade.

Good thing I decided to get out of my gardening funk and tackle it myself this week.

I grabbed my kitchen scissors and headed out to my jungle of a yard. Yes, scissors. I’m no gardener and sadly, scissors were the closest thing I had on hand to use as a garden tool. It made about as much sense as a surgeon with a butter knife. Nonetheless, it was what I had and I walked out of the house certain that I could take on this overgrown mess.

The first few weeks after we moved into this house last year, I was enthusiastic about tearing up these intruders. It even felt mildly satisfying, but with hectic schedules, life in general and winter weather, the chore soon wore thin. Even maddening—and my poor gardens fell into disrepair and became overgrown.

Once I got into it…ugh! no, it wasn’t therapeutic…shoot…I was optimistic but weeds and bugs and sand flies nipping at my ankles is not my idea of relaxation or mind calming therapy. It’s hard work! Yeah, I know, scissors didn’t help…you should see the callous on my thumb.

Complaining aside, something kind of wonderful happened. As I picked and pruned and tied and tidied plants that seemed to have grown the size of the Titanic, I made a few discoveries. Under all the weeds, and plants that had taken over more than their intended space, were beautiful little plants struggling to survive. Some were twisted and bending -attempting to squeeze their way up through the rubbish to reach the nourishing sunlight.

Finding these fragile little seedlings increased my enthusiasm for the task. They also made me think about my heart. While I am enjoying more wholeness everyday, my overgrown garden was a powerful metaphor for the overgrown intruders that had once prevented happiness and joy thriving within my heart.

Fear, not forgiving, bitterness, judgement, criticism and hatred were tiny at first. They seemed inconsequential and comforting solutions to events I was facing at their appearing. Mimicking a beautiful budding vine, they intertwined each other and slowly, insidiously, choked the life out of the beauty within my heart until joy began to die.

Necessary and painful weeding within my heart stripped the garden of my soul clean and exposed tender seedlings of happiness and joy twisting and bending -searching for the light of hope. Life, full life, was awaiting me but it required work on my part.

I began a step at a time for no overgrown garden is cleared in one go. I cried out for forgiveness. “Forgive us this day as we forgive those who trespass against us…” Because I received forgiveness and mercy, my heart softened and offering forgiveness and mercy became a choice I wanted to make.

I clipped back hatred and bitterness uncovered love which -by the way- is limitless when it begins to bloom.

I pulled up judgement and criticism that had mugged my compassion for others. Blossoms of friendship and stronger relationships began to flower and color my life.

Fear has been the most tangled weed to dig up. Most days, I’m braver. Some days, I’m not. However, it’s more manageable when I apply gratitude.

These days, the garden of my soul flourishes with contentment, hope, happiness and love. It sings praise and celebrates new life.

I’m exhausted after taming my garden jungle this week to regain control but I am also grateful. It reminded me that the necessary hard work is definitely worth the effort both in my yard and within my heart.

Let me encourage you to do a little digging…you might be surprised what you find buried beneath the rubbish.


Regie’s Blog: The Fine Madness (depression)

Today, I am reposting a blog my friend has written on the subject of depression. He shares his personal journey as news of Robin Williams death has rocked the air waves since yesterday.

We truly never understand the journey someone else is traveling and the fight they make to keep a balance toward well-being. We can never flippantly assume another soul has “it made” or that their struggles are not important…look inside your heart…the pain of your own struggle is not too different to the person standing near by -no matter how often they smile, laugh or even joke to hide the devastation they feel.

Please be aware that my friend uses language in this piece that you may not use and that I do not use in my blogs. I understand if you prefer not to continue from this point. The vulnerability he shares shows an inside view to the struggle for wholeness. Please visit Reggie’s Blog for the original posting.

I offer my condolences to Robin Williams’ family. I will miss his gift- he made me laugh and smile so many times through the years. He was one of my favorites. My heart is sad to hear of this loss and sad that his heart was so broken.

Over to Regie Hamm:
Posted : 08/12/2014 5:18:14 PM
The doctor looked across his desk at me and asked bluntly, “how many times have you attempted suicide?”

I just stared back at him.

“What are you talking about?” I replied, like a teenager trying to play off getting caught smoking in the bathroom.

He pressed, “Look, I know you’ve at least thought about it. But most likely you’ve actually attempted it. No one I’ve ever treated, with lithium levels as low as yours, has escaped it. Young man, you have very serious clinical depression …and you have had it for years.”

Finally, I broke down and admitted that I’d had the gun out as a teenager and I’d had the bath drawn and the blades ready in my early 20′s. But I’d never actually followed through. I backed out the first time because I didn’t want to hurt my mother like that. I backed out the second time because the pizza (I forgot I had ordered) arrived. It was literally THAT random.

I’ve battled clinical depression my entire adult life. When I was younger, people said I was “moody”. I’ve been called everything from lazy to arrogant, due to my penchant for disappearing inside myself and withdrawing from the world.

I was actually told once that I used “depression” (in air quotes) as an excuse to be an asshole. That one kind of stung …I won’t lie.

Depression is one of those words that is overused and one of those disorders that is all too often “self” diagnosed. “I’m battling depression” is an easy thing to say to get the world off your back, when maybe you just really don’t want to do something. I’ve never tried to use depression as an excuse to shut down. I find it annoying and kind of weak to do that. My grandfather didn’t have time or luxury to be depressed and self-absorbed …he was too busy laying bricks all day to feed his family.

But the truth is depression is real and it can shut you down. As much as I hate to use it as a crutch, I know when I’m “going in.” John Lennon referred to it as “the trough” …I know exactly what he meant. Those who think depression is a direct correlation to your circumstances don’t really understand what it is.

To be honest, my depression has been at bay for the last 12 years for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is MY LIFE HAS BEEN HARD for the last 12 years. Hard times don’t necessarily bring on bouts of depression for those who really suffer from it. Sometimes, tough situations call you into focus and keep you engaged in life in a very healthy way. I’ve found myself spinning into the trough during some of the happiest moments of my life …I never understood that.

I’m lucky, in a sense, because what I do for a living is sort of constant therapy for me. Some people have urged me to write more books and and write less music but the truth is music actually has a healing property for me. I need it to sustain. Making a living at it is just a by-product.

The weirdest things can set off a bout of depression. The way someone looks at you at the grocery store; a song on the radio; an ill-timed phone call from the wrong person. Often the progression goes something like this:

She walks up to me after a show and says, “I love your music. You’re so talented. I hope you make it big one day.” Normally, not one of those phrases will bother me. In fact, 99% of the time I’m completely humbled by any compliment. But that last thing she said gets me thinking, on the drive home …and the voices start …”I hope you make it big someday.” Doesn’t she know that I’ve made it big? Like a couple of times already? Of course not. She doesn’t spend her life following me and my career. Why should she? People don’t do that. They have lives.

But my own inferior patterns keep me grounded in this constant struggle. It’s not about making it big. I don’t care about that. It’s about something I can’t seem to change about myself. I’m trapped in this shell forever. The weight …the alcohol …the things I will never conquer …they keep me in prison. I’m so tired. I wish I could re-set everything. But I’ll still be me if I do …and I’ll eventually mess it all up again. There’s no way out of this. I’m tired.

My wife and kids would probably be better off without me. I bring them down on far too many days. I can’t get out of this hole. I just want to lay in bed. I don’t want to brush my teeth. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I need space and time. No one knows the wars I fight. The terrible wars …in my own head. But those people and things I fight with are as real as anything I can touch. The voices won’t shut up. They keep goading me and telling me things I don’t want to hear. They wear me down until I’m numb.

Now, I can’t feel anything. That idiot who told me happiness was choice is full of shit. I can’t control the fact that I feel so heavy I can barely walk. My body actually hurts from trying to function. That over-zealous Christian keeps telling me to just “rest in Jesus”. I have no fucking idea what that means. It’s some kind of platitude I can’t actually put into action. Does it mean lay down and pray or get in a recliner and read the bible? I don’t know. This pain is almost unbearable. People say they “need” me but the truth is we’re all alone here. We’re all the stars of our own movies. I just need the voices to be quiet. I need the noise to end. I hate music. I hate my own voice. I hate my songs.

I can’t change any of it – I’m stuck in this body with this brain forever. Can I end it? Is there an off-ramp? Pills would be painless. I could just swerve over into the oncoming lane. It would be easy …

Then my phone rings …and I’m back.

That’s how easily an off-handed compliment can send someone with depression over the edge. You shouldn’t stop complimenting people. You shouldn’t stop being kind. The point is for someone with the chemical issue, anything and everything can be a trigger. Someone asking me for directions can be the breaking point. Ironically, someone telling me I suck usually has no effect on me whatsoever. See, I know I don’t suck so that’s easy to dismiss. It’s weird and hard to explain.

I obviously don’t know the details of Robin Williams’ situation. I don’t know what his triggers were. But I do know that clinical depression is real. I’ve managed mine with exercise, diet and an absolute passionate love for my children. At this point in my life I would never do something to them like committing suicide. But I completely understand someone getting so far inside that they can’t reason. If you add drugs and alcohol to that, you have a recipe for disaster.

Robin gave the world joy, but I’m certain he never gave it to himself. Most of us who create use it as a vehicle for escape. His great comedic genius was born out of some great pain somewhere …that will probably never be obvious to the world. He fought for a lot of years to manage it. Some people simply can’t turn off the dark voices and one day they simply listen one minute too long. In that moment, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a mansion, staring at your Academy Award …you will feel hopeless, useless and you will be powerless. Robin Williams, the man who knew all the right things to say, more than likely found himself there.

I am certain I will never kill myself. I’ve gotten to a great place in my life. I’ve had many, MANY conversations with myself about it. I’ve leveled out my chemistry in a lot of ways. I’ve leveled out my psyche in a lot of ways. I’ve been given the gift of some amazing causes to live for. It’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about Angelman Syndrome and adoption. I see a great design in my having been thrown into the deep water of both those things. In short, I’ve got some great reasons to live …and I intend on doing just that.

But for those who can’t quiet the voices, I urge you to call a friend. Go to a movie. Get out of bed one more time and take a drive someplace. Go to the humane shelter and hold puppies. Go to the maternity ward of a hospital and stare at newborns. Fight for another day. Turn this curse into a gift, somehow. Put down the sugar, caffeine and alcohol. Put on some running shoes and try to get a mile away from the pain. Do whatever you can do …and don’t let the bastard win.


Thank you, Regie, for sharing your journey. I appreciate the truth you have shared. Much love from my heart to yours!


7 Reasons For Having A Good Cry

I’ve been close to tears all day. I haven’t been able to put my finger on one particular reason…maybe there isn’t one. I was close to getting my composure until my Facebook notifications flashed a message from a dear friend asking, “Why does it still hurt? It’s been 32 years and I still cry”…and that was all it took to produce sobs…a shared pain due to loss.

I’m a crier. Tears come easily to me. I’ve cried every type of tear you can imagine; happy tears, sad tears, angry tears, sentimental tears, empathetic tears, fearful tears and sometimes no-good-reason tears…you name it, I’ve cried about or in response to it.

When I have needed a good cry and the tears wouldn’t come, I made a list of tear-jerking movies that I would pull out. Movies like Beaches, the Champ, The Notebook, Ghost, and A Message In A Bottle. By the time the movie was over, I was bawling! Sound strange to you? I read recently that there are clubs in Japan that get together to watch movies, TV shows or read sad books in order to induce a good cry. Maybe, I’m onto something? I’ve roped some of my friends into my own little tear-inducing club. My BFF and I convinced her husband to watch A Message In A Bottle with us once. As the three of us sat with tears streaming at the end of the movie, he vowed, never again.

There have been times in my life when I didn’t think that I would get the tears to stop flowing. I was heart broken over a series of events but was ill-equipped to deal with the pain my heart was feeling. One event began to pile on top of the previous. Unable to cope with the emotions, I would suppress them until they erupted into a fountain of tears.

If there’s any constant to crying as a result of painful experiences, it may be a search for a return to balance, an equilibrium. Whether a baby sobbing for its mother, or a teenager weeping at a friend’s betrayal, or a woman mourning her dead husband, the common thread is a longing for happiness once had but lost. Tears are our response to life’s unfairness. We cry to try to make things right.

An employer once told me that I needed to get my tears under control. He witnessed appropriate tears (my marriage break down), inappropriate tears (meetings with him that began by welling up to the point that I could not speak), and down right weird tears (when pulled over by a policeman for a broken tail light). He was a kind man who wanted me to feel strong enough to handle life situations with confidence.

I accepted his advice and…went to the other extreme. I refused to cry. Once again, I was suppressing the emotions I was feeling…the result was an eruption of anger.

This was not working!

As I’ve learned emotional coping skills, tears are manageable but I still enjoy a good cry at times. Tears are one way I release stress and pain. I watched a video a friend posted this week about an adult slapping, pinching and utterly tormenting a defenceless infant- I could not control my tears. I was angry and outraged. Another time, my daughter texts me a congratulation on my success of raising her and her brother-I wept with joy and gratitude. I’m proud to say that I can now speak to a police officer without melting into tears but am also thankful that my heart remains empathetic enough to cry with a friend or family member who is broken hearted. I will, also, well up with tears when my heart is full and satisfied.





I find tears comforting and cleansing.

However, when tears begin to roll, they can ignite the atmosphere with a great deal of tension. Let the water works begin to flow and people can become confused, uncomfortable, or scared.

Reactions to tears range from “stop that or I will give you something to cry about!”; to “PLEASE, don’t cry! I’ll do anything if you just stop crying”; to jokes and shaming or edging away with a look of panic in their eyes. Most people are uncomfortable with their own emotions; dealing with someone else’s expression of emotion can be unbearable.

There are scientific theories that state tears release stress-related toxins from the body. It has also been proven that stifling emotions is can be dangerous to our physical well-being. The key is to find a healthy balance. The ability to manage and work with emotions helps us maintain healthy emotional well-being.

Crying is as critical a part of emotional well being as laughter (and in my case sometimes tears) is in response to joy and happiness.

I’d like to share 7 reasons for having a good cry:

1. Vulnerability brings you closer to others. If you are not ok, don’t say that you are fine. Although you may not be able to cry with everyone and in every situation, opening your heart and expressing your true feelings brings us closer to the people we care about.

2. Confronting what you feel can help you move on and move forward. Just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. A good cry can be a step to help you release your past. The sooner you confront your past, the quicker you can move toward a better future.

3. Expressing emotion can increase creativity. Do you realize how much creativity evolves out of emotional situations? Think of the songs, movies, books, dance and other art forms shared from personal experiences that inspire others.

4. Tears can help end your suffering. While crying won’t end your troubles, it can help you come to terms with them.

5. Crying can reduce stress. Crying is a release. Even when you don’t know why you feel like crying (just as I didn’t understand today), the tears can lead you to a reason. Once you find the source of what you are feeling, you can begin to work on a solution to what is causing you stress.

6. Tears can make you feel better. There is a Jewish proverb that says, “What soap does for the body, tears do for the soul.” I don’t always know why, but tears make me feel cleansed and refreshed.

7. Tears can make you stronger. You might think tears are a sign of weakness but really being brave enough to cry is a sign of strength. It shows that you are unafraid of facing your emotions. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” – Washington Irving

When was the last time you had a good cry? Have you been holding back the tears attempting to hold your life together? Is your heart broken, desperately longing for emotional healing…

Then give yourself permission…to cry…

Don’t worry, your smile is not too far away and will be waiting for you when you are finished.



52 opportunities for a new beginning

IMG_5040.JPGtoday is Monday, one of 52 new beginnings this year…

don’t waste it!

make this a fabulous one!

the 3 simple ways to find appreciation and significance


If you want to be seen, stand up.
If you want to be heard, speak up.
If you want to be appreciated, shut up.”
― Bill Cosby

do you long to feel significant? do want to be appreciated for the amazing person you know you can be?

yeah, me, too.

one of our strongest core needs is for acceptance; to be seen for who we really and fully are.

in our search for acceptance we begin to hide who we really are in fear that our differences, our idiosyncrasies, our quirks, our failings, and our weaknesses are too undesirable for others to see. we convince ourselves that if others really knew who we are or what we really are, they will walk away from us. we fear their reaction. then, we make a decision that fitting in is more important than finding joy by expressing who we really are. we begin to bury our true self and project an image we want others to believe.

we hide.

mired in a state of insecurity, feeling small, invisible, irrelevant, and insignificant many of us journey through life silently, withdrawn and fearful.

this is painful and leaves us dissatisfied.

i’ve spent much of my life demanding perfection of myself and falling short and feeling inadequate on a regular basis. “i’m not good enough” and “what i have to say is not important enough” can run our lives and leave us feeling empty and unappreciated. even though we understand this to be true, appreciating ourselves, accepting and loving ourselves can be easier said than done.

here are 3 simple ways to find significance and appreciation:

1. if you want to be seen, stand up. i found a trusted friend that i could allow “the real me” to stand forward to. i remember days that i felt paralyzed, wanting to run and hide. yet, i didn’t. little by little, I began to stand up and shine in my own brilliance. what we don’t realize is that people are usually rooting for us to succeed and are truly interested in the unique being we are. they want to know what makes us tick, what inspires us, what brings us joy. when we are courageous to reveal who we are to them, we enrich their lives and inspire them to be courageous as well.

2. if you want to be heard, speak up. i found that it’s not necessary to bolster and qualify everything i have to say. expressing my passion about what i am voicing, even when different from someone else’s point of view, can be met with appreciation and respect. it is important to know what i want and possess the ability to communicate it to others. beating around the bush, hem-hawing, being mousy and indecisive are frustrating. most people appreciate a person who is confident and direct. this often empowers them to have the courage to speak up for themselves.

3. if you want to be appreciated, shut up. ok, i am not contradicting myself here (nor is Bill Cosby who originated this point). validate others. listen. in the same way that you strongly desire to be heard…recognize that others do as well. our inner critic can drive us to be critical and judgemental as a means to level the playing field. if we criticize the person in front of us, we somehow feel less critical about ourselves…only, it doesn’t work that way. when we validate others, we are offering them the opportunity for acceptance, appreciation and significance and we begin to release ourselves from our own inner prison. what we sow, we reap. encouraging others to be brave enough to stand up, speak up and find appreciation speaks to our hearts that we can be braver, stronger and bolder as we endeavour to release who we really are. people appreciate us giving them the freedom to be their true self.

be free to love everything about you. your strengths and your flaws -they make you who you are. come to love who you are, then you can then be free to love others. allow the real you to stand up and shine. find courage to explore ways to express yourself and you will discover freedom.

make your journey meaningful, satisfying and significant by being really and fully you…appreciate yourself and watch others follow your example.

i won! spring challenge

deeclarknz.comi was freezing yesterday. chilled to the bone. not even my electric blanket was taking the chill off. the temptation to whine was overwhelming.

i didn’t … whine…

because i’m participating in the 5 days of positive or being grateful challenge on Facebook…i stayed focused…NO complaining.

however cold yesterday was…the signs of spring are beginning to appear.

we have noticed that the grass is beginning to grow again in our yard. my husband said to me the other day, “spring is not far away if the grass is growing again and that means that it’s almost lambing time as well.”

in case you don’t know, dear reader, there are more sheep than people in NZ and one of the true signs of spring in NZ is lambing season.


“have you seen any lambs yet?” He asked me.

“no, not yet.”

so, being the competitive creature he is, he gave me a challenge. “let’s see who sees the first lamb between us.”

yeah, we are old and can be a bit boring sometimes…but hey, i took the challenge.

(drum roll please…)

i won!


this morning. driving along with the sun’s rays lifting the day with it’s brilliance, feeling the crispness of the morning air, and daydreaming, i glanced at the glistening paddock to my right. there it was!

the first lamb i had seen for the season, basking in the warmth of the sun. near by, it’s twin, leaping and bounding as if full of uncontrollable joy.

the chill of yesterday seemed distant and warmth filled my heart.


new life.

playful youth.

nature’s abundance.

my spirits were lifted.

spring is truly on it’s way!!!

(ok, now i hear my NZ readers reminding me not to get too excited because August is coming and as the last month of winter…it’s traditionally fierce. i know. but i’m living in this moment, enjoying the first of spring revelations. i’ll take August on when it gets here…but for now…it’s springtime in my heart!)

what’s your favorite sign of spring?


suffering is optional