Gratitude, Grace and Celebration

I shared these words from Danna Faulds in yoga class today. Her work feels even more powerful for these times. May it enrich your day today and give you hope for tomorrow.

macro shot photography of tea candles

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

“This is what I have to say to you. Savor the fruits of a lifetime of growth and evolution. I’m not suggesting that you rest on your laurels and declare yourself done. But its time to bask in the sunlight of your soul and let that warmth reach deep inside your bones.

The next stage of your life will rest upon a foundation of gratitude, grace and celebration. Grace simply comes when it comes and isn’t in your control. Gratitude can be nurtured and fertilized by paying attention to the gifts that come your way, saying thank you, internally and externally appreciating your life as often as you remember. Celebration means taking stock of how far you’ve come and letting delight and wonder lead the way.

What you are giving birth to today is bigger than your usual perception of yourself. Its okay that you have no idea what’s coming next. How could you? Just stay open and the universe will do the rest. Gratitude, grace and celebration are the keys.”

~ Danna Faulds taken from “What’s True Here” New Poems and Other Writings





Every Step is Holy

naked trees cover by snow

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on

Every Step is Holy

By Danna Faulds

The journey from the known
to unknown, from the
unreal to the real, is rarely
revealed in advance.
The potholes, detours,
false starts, and quick retreats
are each honorable,
and even needed in the bigger
scheme, in the forest that can’t
be seen between the trees.

It took years for me to realize
that the very twists and turns
and shadows I labeled “problems”
were really sacred ground
grace disguised as obstacles,
the whole pass a pilgrimage,
mysteries baring themselves
before me all along the way.


Grace disguised as obstacles as we step together through our lives of potholes and detours… walking each other home.

Being there for our selves and others on this journey is the ultimate in grace.


Inflicting Pain and Forgiveness

This is a repost for all those struggling with pain and forgiveness. When the pain eases we can see more clearly. 

If I were to ask you “Do you go around inflicting pain on to others?”

Most of you would answer with a vehement NO!

That’s because the idea of being a mean person or a bully is simply not acceptable to us. We cannot see ourselves in contradiction to our beliefs and values. Its our protective ego that cannot face the possibility. It holds on strong to its belief about how we appear in the world… and what is acceptable to ourselves.

Yet, when we take time to pause and reflect, most of us do unintentionally inflict pain on others.
Consider if you have done any of these:

Not seen someone who wants to be acknowledged.
Forgetting to call.
Making judgments.
Getting distracted.
Being late.
Holding on to resentment.
Sticking to a particular way of doing things.
Acting out in anger.
Holding on to your beliefs.

All of these actions can cause pain for others.

We may tell ourselves its not our fault or we are protecting ourselves. After all, it may not be our intention to cause pain. However, the outcome is, that we do.

In the same way, we feel pain when others act in this way towards us.

How many times have you felt hurt by someone because of one or more of the above actions?

It is the nature of human beings to be egocentric and self protective. And when we are, we are capable of inflicting pain on others. We are all imperfectly human – no matter how hard we try to be perfectly in control.

When we accept this, we can begin to forgive ourselves and others. This is a huge step on life’s journey to finding real peace of mind.

Follow this link to a Forgiveness Meditation which will guide you towards forgiveness and peace.

After all, we are only human. Despite our failings we are also filled with love … and a capacity to forgive.


* Be Open to Whatever Path Comes Along

The title for this post came to me as I saw our terrier pup Teddy enjoying our new path in the garden. It has taken some time to come to pass. (Pun intended)

Getting to this jaunty place of enjoyment wasn’t easy.

Teddy on the path

Don and I had been talking about what to do with this part of our garden for some time. Before the fence, this area had become a “naturalized” part of the garden. In other words, it was full of perennials that offered much for our local deer to feast on!

Last year it became really overgrown and disheveled. Don suggested we “start over “by putting in a new aluminum fence and having a nice bed behind it that the deer couldn’t reach.

I liked the idea of a fence as a sanctuary for my plantings. The “start over” part was more daunting! In my mind I decided that a clean up was all that what was needed.  So I started to move plants and divide as part of the sprucing up of this area.

The fence took a while to get set up as the wrong parts kept being sent, but by Spring we were ready!

Then Don came back from Home Depot with a new saw…. a special one for cutting concrete slabs and stone.

V  “Slabs? … What for?”😑

D “For the new path!”😊

V “What new path? … I thought we were just cleaning up this bed” 😕

And then we both shared our very different visions for the space. Don’s vision was of a full path with flowers and shrubs on either side. It sounded good so I said, “Why not lay out the slabs and we’ll see what it looks like.”

I went back into my office and came out again as he shouted for me to come down and see. See what?…

D “You have to move these plants so I can put the path in” 😏

V “I’ve already moved, replanted and thrown out plants. No more!” 😠

D “But we agreed on the new path” 😬

V “So you’ll just need to put the path around the plants! Not the other way around!” 😡

D “So show me!” 😶

And I did. I laid the slabs out around the plants and then he cut them to size.

The next day we went to the garden center and decided on the additional plantings – white azaleas, hostas, geraniums and astilbes.

I’m sure there are several morals and metaphors in this story, but the one that comes to my mind is:

Be open to whatever path comes along … and be prepared to work on it!



Inspiration – I am Already

One flow of
Energy and breath
Connects the full
Depth and breadth
Of consciousness.
There is nowhere to
Go but here, no time
But now, no why or
How or maybe … just
This knowing, simple
And complete, that I
Am already what I
Thought I had to seek.

~ Danna Faulds

*Mantra for Today – Dive Deeply into Life

Spring time and Teddy

“Dive deeply into life”

Each day brings new possibilities

to explore, create, meet challenges and grow.

Our inner and outer journeys are interconnected.


Today … I will divide, move and create a perennial garden of shadow and light!

What will you dive deeply into today?

Life is like … an elevator ride

elevator pause

Life is like an elevator ride…

It has its ups and downs
It can take you to new heights
Or drop you to rock bottom

People join you for some or all of the ride.
You have to stop to let some people off

It sometimes feels confining
Or even somewhat scary
And sometimes you may get stuck

Be careful not to overload it
You should know what to do in an emergency

Expect a few embarrassing moments 😉

There are awkward conversions with strangers,
Fun times with others, and quiet times by yourself.

Be open to whatever happens and enjoy the ride!
Knowing at the end of the day that you are not the one in control


* Not always straight

A lovely reminder when we are feeling stuck or despondent about where we are in life.  Facing our challenges often inspires the beginning of our real journey. 💛


File:Trittsteine am oberen Teich Japanischer Garten Kaiserslautern.jpg

It may be that

when we no longer know

what to do,

we have come

to our real work,

and when we

no longer know

which way to go,

we have begun

our real journey

Wendell Berry, The Real Work

photo Anna16

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* This Path we are on

mountain path

“This path doesn’t always hug the ridge tops; it often falls into deep canyons, sometimes moves along the waterways, across the valleys, deserts, and the tall peaks of your inner self. Its direction may not always seem clear as you venture into the wilderness within.”

Charles Breaux from “Yoga Gems” edited by Georg Feuerstein

Being with the ups and downs along your path will guide you home. ❤

I also like this other way of looking at our life journey:

the ups and downs of life


Embrace it all my fellow humans 🙂

* Life is like … an estuary

I will be away now until May 24, but wanted to share a photo of one of my favorite places in Scotland along with some beautiful reflections from poet and yogini Danna Faulds. Her words bring me to my Middle Ground – that special place of inner peace and connection.

Firth of Forth
The Firth of Forth. (Where the River Forth meets the North Sea in Scotland)


There is peace here, where the river

widens to meet the sea. The rapids

are past; the boulders and the rocky

places at last give way to a broad

and sweeping current, flowing

slowly into vastness. The river

moves silently, tastes the salty tide

that marks its demise, and slips

without a backward glance, into

the ocean’s infinite embrace.

This poem seems to be a touching metaphor for life itself as we go through its highs and lows and find peace.

How do these words and this metaphor resonate with you?