Friday, August 26, 2016

A Poem for a Change

A poem for a change, as I consider that all we crave is connection.

And within the business of living
The crazy whirlwinds of days & nights
The bellowing of voices
Instructions and in songs,
She craved to lay her head
Next to another,
Who held the same map
With their directions always circling back
To Home.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Better to have loved?

The famous quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson, “'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

Didn't we change that statement to a question at some point?

I have loved many, many times in my forty-nine years and have actually been in love a few times. Yes I believe there is a glorious difference.
I have had the unique experience of falling in love at first sight. Once.
The experience of meeting people, with the knowing that they are going to be incredibly important in your life and you for them. The experience of meeting, with the knowledge that you've met before.

Love, of course, is not just about romance, though I am an avid fan of delicious romance. 
Love is the joy of seeing my my god children grow (one official, Harry, and one unofficial, Jack). The laughter shared with friends. The happiness of cuddling Max the Cat. When I open a book and read Chapter One. When I close a book, with that feeling of Wow. When I look at food!!!! When I make a good cup of tea. When the sun shines and I'm driving toward a friend. When I make my Mum laugh and when I ask her - tell me something I don't know, and she does!

While watching a sunset. While crying and being held. While dancing. While eating popcorn as a movie begins. When looking back at photographs and noticing a shining spirit light, that shows me I'm still connected.

I feel stronger, happier and inspired when I'm with people who I love and they love me. 
There are no good byes. How can you forget the people who matter? We don't have to.

So, yes, it is better to have loved and lost, because my heart will always be open to continue with its love. My love. Because for those who see me as disposable, or temporary, or wrong, there are those who will cross a million oceans to see me smile - and for those I give my honest heart. 
AND most importantly, I suddenly understand why we must at first love ourselves. I get it, finally. I heard the words loud and clear. It all fell into place this evening, sitting and thinking about the ones I love, who I know, without a doubt, are thinking about me.

So maybe there is no loss, when all you have is love. It is eternal.

From EE Cummings:
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Trust The Thong

A friend and I were discussing what would you teach yourself.
What lesson did you lack at a young age that you feel would have enhanced your life now?

Mine was a comfort with wearing thong sandals, (they are torture!!! and it's not fair that thong sandals are created to look sexy, and non thong sandals created to look medical). So, I would want that AND

Not trust in other people, that's a whole other game. I'm talking about trust in yourself, myself.

Stop for one moment and consider how often you trust yourself with daily things.
Driving, eating, attitude to work, your commitment to friends, brushing your teeth. Perhaps we take these things for granted, and yet they are examples of trust in our ability to be safe and do the right thing. How often do we let ourselves down in these areas? How often do we succeed?

What about the bigger things? Do you trust yourself to become a mother, to become a care partner, a CEO?

I realize that my lack of trust in myself created the two largest regrets that I have in my life.
And one, concerns a decision I made regarding the care of my husband, that I cannot imagine reaching forgiveness for.
If I had truly believed in me - I would not have made some choices that I have made.

Every day presents us with the opportunity to change. Mine today is to trust me.
As I am on the brink of stretching myself into fresh waters, I will truly close my eyes, move onto a higher level (as my friend Janine describes) and always check in with my heart, which is where my truth sits, waiting for me.
I have constantly adapted, thinking others are better than me, believing that they know more, or are wiser, or more talented, or better looking or, a thousand more ors!!!  Why the attention on everyone else?

We could all do with a focus lesson on ourselves first. To understand our own boundaries, limits, desires and respect.

You are never too young, old, short or wide to finally believe in yourself and to recognize when you are tripping yourself up with a lack of trust and a whole bundle of fear. Lets whip that around and change the focus.

Teach this to your children please - that and how to successfully wear a thong sandal.

Monday, June 13, 2016


Yesterday, Sunday June 12th 2016

I listen to the shocking news from Orlando, Florida. The selfish relief flooding me, that no one I know was there.
I sit on a deck, my face in the morning sunshine and truly feel my heart crack open. Sad memories hitting me, that make me wonder if I did enough. Embracing the actual pain, I ask for it to be refilled.
I talk to a close friend, with tears, asking for love.
Sitting with my head on a shoulder, waiting for peace. I say to myself, enough, I know I can't give anymore than I do.

I giggle with a dear friend, who is just in cancer recovery, whose spirit, smile and pure love for life fills me with a desire to do more. Thank you Janine xx
I sing and celebrate another dear friends birthday - whose smile is as wide as his heart - again through his experience, he knows that life is short and to be lived. Thank you Lou xx
And this morning, my dearest Mum phones me from England, with such happiness in her voice, upon receiving a simple gift package from me. Thank you Mum xx

I watch on television, the devastating face of a woman who does not know if her son is dead or not.
That calm, shocked voice that is one moment away from cracking. I know how a life is tipped upside down through loss. It's enough that it happens naturally, to have people kill should be unacceptable - not another news report.

If you give me a gun and a person with a rifle appears. Chances are I'm going to make a mistake and shoot incorrectly. Chances are I will not know where the other gun is. Chances are I might think a firework or a car misfiring is something else.
I really do not think another available gun is the answer.
Nor do I think that love alone is the answer.

Life is wasted, if we can't make a change for the better. We learn more from those that love than those that hate. We are inspired from those that show us how they are reaching for fulfillment, not those that just constantly complain.
Our personal responsibility and respect for this fragile life, may make a difference. Not opportunities for further mistakes and pain. Isn't that common sense?

All of our lives are one moment away from major changes.
All of our heart beats are one moment from stopping.
Isn't that enough?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Wisdom of Tea Bags & Cat Litter

I was in my kitchen this morning, juggling tea bags and cat litter, when it hit me.
"You are loved. Just not enough - by yourself. You spend far too long thinking how to make everyone else safe, inspired and happy while never give yourself that same attention."
Interesting thought.
Then it hit me: I show others how to treat me, by the way I treat myself.
At this point I had to put the cat litter and tea bags to one side and pay attention to these thoughts.
I am aware that I accept certain things while longing for something else. Like wearing a yellow cardigan, when you would rather wear your lavender shawl.

I have recently been dealing with an issue that has literally paralyzed me with fear. Thus I have been distant with people I love and have silenced my own thoughts and conversation about the subject. I have created a tiny, yet suffocating island all of my own with clouds of old stories and issues, and I did that all by myself, thank you very much.

So, the connection I made, was to bring love to myself to help alleviate this current fear.
We all hear about how fear stops us. How we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Well, its all true. However, it  has been living in me for the last month, becoming so noisy that even Tylenol PM screamed "OK we give up, she's never gonna' sleep!"

So, I'm bringing love to myself, just quietly. Finding my peace, my center. Not solving the world, or constantly putting myself up for election. Do you do that too? Put yourself into a campaign to gain peoples votes? It's exhausting and actually, with the right people, not necessary.

Calm it all down. You're not actually on a roller-coaster. I desire a sense of home, and I believe I already have that, deep in my heart, just needed to remind myself.

Always with love, my friends.
J xx

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What is Love?

It’s amazing how I still wake up, and I find myself thinking – he’s not here and he is not coming back. How can that be my waking thought? Yet it is. Then I accept it and reluctantly get on with the day, while the memories of his illness follow me. They pick on me like tormenting children, with knives.

This morning I am full of the experience when I had to visit nursing homes to decide where he would go. I disliked the patronizing faces, the smell of urine, the coldness of the walls, even though they were decorated with cheap fake paintings of flowers and boats lit by a sunset.
“And on Thursdays we play Bingo,” they would say. “In the summer, we sit on the patio.”

I hated it, every second. I should be choosing shirts, vacations, books for my husband, not a nursing home. He was fifty seven. Alzheimer’s disease had made him ageless, in a bad way. He had become Peter Pan’s grandfather. The boy, who couldn’t grow up, had grown up, and forgotten everything in five, very hard years.

I kept expecting and needing him, to race through the doors, pick me up and take me home again.
“Let’s not do this anymore,” he would say, beaming his healthy smile, and we could carry on with our messy, noisy, sometimes blissfully quiet and intimate marriage.

And now, as a widow, I read a magazine article about what I could choose next to do with my life and I’m bitter because I don’t want this without him. How can I get excited about anything? When such a large part of me doesn’t want to exist and another part of me doesn’t trust that it will be worth it. Some days I jump at my reflection in the mirror when I notice that I am not old – yet I feel a hundred and done. Simply done.

Then I remember that I am just one of a billion people who feel the same way.
The thoughts that trip us up are various. Mine happens to be the loss of my husband. Others might be the loss of a job, the loss of a pet, the gain of an illness, a debt, who knows. Life is so big and random. Just another planet spinning and held by nothing in a mid-air of stars and debris.  A world full of voices that scream; “go do and achieve” while the sky yawns in tiredness and dumps rain onto our umbrellas. While others scream death, and feed on their neighbors fear through their bullets, bombs and blood. We are sick with our disrespect for humanity.

So what is love? 
It is, despite absolutely everything; an energy that embraces your soul and whispers; “keep going.” It is the gaze of a child, the sweep of a paint brush, the touch of care, the joke that will always provoke a smile. Love is in sickness and in health. Love is in knowing I was married, and in the knowing that when I felt his heart finally stop, that our spirits would keep dancing. Together. Love is saying please and thank you and welcome. Love is saying goodbye as well as saying hello. Love is that light that you feel you alone can only see. Love is the only reason I am here. Love is all that I had to give and love is all that I continue to give.

And all of our stories will always connect. Love was always the guide. Love will always be the guide. And no matter what or how we arrive at that final breath, it will be the thing that greets us, because it is forgiveness, it is justice, it is merciful, it is abundant and it is the most handsome or prettiest face you will ever see. Because there has to be an answer that makes us all finally whisper, in one single language of a thousand voices, the simple word – Amen.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Inspiring Dr. Dante Vena

Today we say good bye to my very dear friend Dr.Dante Vena.

Here is what Dante always gave me - the belief that we can all be creative and share in our joy of what we like to do. When we talked about writing he would say to me: "Just do it!" with his eyes flashing and that wide wonderful grin.

He and his amazing wife, Kathy, have been incredible friends to me. They have become family. I am so fortunate to have many memories that our adventures have provided. The dinners, breakfasts, cups of coffee, visits to his amazing art studio and the three of us, this year, sitting giggling in the back of a movie theater during a serious movie!!!

One of the very hardest things to do is to hold hands and then let go.

I send my love and respect to Kathy, her beautiful children and grand daughter. It is an honor to be with you and to know that I am a different person because of the gifts that Dante shared. He will always continue to inspire us.

With very much love and gratitude. And so it goes....................