It’s a boy! …and I’m not sure I’m ready.

In a way, I’m where I am now because everything I’d hoped and planned for, didn’t work out. It’s been years of slow personal growth, humbling years of non conformity because I couldn’t find what everyone else seemed to so easily. It’s been one year since I’ve found the man I’ll spend my life with. I am 10 years behind most of the people I know; and even as I lay here in the dark, listening to the slow, rhythmic breathing of his peaceful sleep, feeling grateful for him and our life together, I’m not sure its time. Sure I could go screaming down to the chapel and he could rush to put a ring on it…but… to what end? We’d still just be sitting here in our two bedroom apartment, clinging to each of our respective sides of the bed because Mimi (the cat) has taken up the middle. When I was young my father told me to be careful of making the kind of decisions I couldn’t take back, the kind of decisions that shut doors to you firmly. So I got a puppy, a college education, traveled in my career, and sit before you now, having not made any decisions too permanent. And I don’t know what do with myself…

5109xmAUQ1L._SY300_.jpgI turned thirty this year and doors have closed on their own. For better or worse I will never be Miss Teen USA, or a young lobbyist fresh out of Yale with penchant for change in Washington. I imagine that for some it’s easy to see those opportunities slip away, perhaps you’re doing what you’ve always want to. When I was little and people told me I could be and do anything, it was thrilling! Too many to choose from, each one a pearl of its own, each more exciting and meaningful than the next. I work with a woman who is one year away from retirement. At 64, a woman we’ll call Stevie, is thriving, vivacious, and has a passion for life I aspire to. We were having a conversation the other day about her desire to hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail near Ashland, OR. We meandered around the subjects of things we hoped to see and do, when she looked at me in all earnest, and told me that she is still unsure what her purpose in life is but that she recognizes she’s running out of time. My jaw hit the floor, if only metaphorically. I mean no disrespect, I love Stevie like my own mother, but these are the same feelings I have daily and all I could think was, “Dear God don’t let that be me!” Running out of time?! Um,,, yea.

Chase the invisible dangling carrots? Marry and have children? Did all of you make your decisions consciously? Do you feel like they were made for you? What if I regret it? In any given moment, the best I can do is try and check in with myself. When I asked myself the other day in a rare moment of considering having children what my motivations were, I came back with… I’m bored with what I have going on in my life right now. Ugh, that is less than inspiring…and not a good reason to bring life into the world. When I shared this conversation with a friend she said that wanting to have children was instinctual, natural. Maybe, but so is hunting and gathering, and don’t most of us just go to the store for our bison steaks now? My point is that, when the interest of someone’s life is in your hands, doesn’t it at the very least deserve your greatest consideration? What kind of world will they inherit? I’m torn. I read recently that inside of all of us, lies our own truth. At our quiet center, we each know our own answers to our questions and your responsibility then is to do what works for you. In my most quiet moments, at the very center of my being… ugh. I just hear noise.

Born today, at three a.m., a bright-eyed bouncing ball of possibility with a full head of hair made his entrance.
I think of him often, as I slowly and meticulously pull delicate strands of rainbow dyed cord through and in between layers
of down and cotton; making for him what he may very well pack deep in the corner of a suitcase, hidden under pajamas and mismatched socks.The kind of thing you don’t want your buddies to see when they stop by your dorm room to get a copy of your notes for the big test on Friday; but the kind of thing that grounds you, gives you roots to the place and the people you come from. I wonder if he’ll run his fingers over each patch, wonder if he’ll find comfort from a thunder-storm amongst the round stitched edges. I wonder if he’ll take it to the white house, wrap his children in it before taking the stand to deliver the next State of the Union. I wonder at him! Welcome home sweet baby boy. What will you do now, who will you be? It is only a small token, someday likely to be lost and forgotten but I think of you while I stitch your blanket; I pray for you, and dream for you, and for me. He isn’t mine by birth; I’m an aunt today. I’m in the “village”, and I’m here, and present, and excited to do my part… but I’m still pretty sure I’m not ready.


‘Tis the season to… stop shaving your legs?

Fall is in the air, and even though it feels like summer just began I can’t help but feel excited and energized. This has always been my favorite time of year: the changing leaves, the cool, crisp mornings, new sweaters and “perfectly sharpened bouquets of #2 pencils”… I always begin to wax nostalgic and wish it was me that was going back to the blackboard; so to speak.


I miss it all! Remember the excitement of new school shopping? The way you promised yourself you’d wake up extra early and wear the cute clothes? It was never a full month that had gone by before you rolled outta bed and into the jeans and hoodie on the floor, and then fell into your chair for the start of homeroom. Remember, with the exception of gym class, the way a week or two…maybe even three might pass before you shaved your legs? No one the wiser of the Sasquatch living in your Union Bay faded flared denim and Tommy Hilfiger wind breaker. Ah, the lunch room french-fries, the color coded notes passed between friends, the frantic search for the “one of a kind” dress from your local mall for that special dance with that special guy. These are the things we can never replicate; no matter how many times we check our Facebook wall.

I can think back now, 10 years later, and there is enough room around the little heartaches I suffered, enough space between me and the times it wasn’t so fun, to remember only the good things. I can also look back and realize how little I actually knew, how unprepared I really was to just head out into the real world and try and be a fully functional adult. Of all the math, history, composition, and science I studied, there is one thing that I learned at the start of my junior year of high school that has stayed with me in a particular way- and it was at a seemingly inconsequential moment and passed just as quickly.

For the first 16 years of my life I had lived and gone to school with my mother as my primary guardian; my parents had divorced when I was nearly one. At the start of summer vacation, the summer before my junior year, I had made the move to a much smaller community—really more of a rest stop, the kind of place you’d stop to pee and get a Big Mac on a road trip to somewhere much more interesting—and this time, I had moved in with my father, step-mother, and little sister who had all just moved into their first new house. Growing up I had always been close with my father and the idea of being in a more stable home intrigued me. As it turns out, a house that doesn’t move doesn’t equal stability; but that is another story for another time. So fast forward a few months and I’m riding in the passenger seat of my father’s requisite “suburbanite” SUV, on the way to register for classes at my brand new high school. I’m sure he sensed my nerves, or maybe he could just commiserate, but as we were nearing the school and I was biting my nails while looking out the passenger seat window he said something I will never forget. “You know…” he said, “no one in there knows who you are. You can show up and be any one you want to be.” This was not a call to be artificial or phony; on the contrary, I knew exactly what he was saying and it was a defining moment in my life. Oh, the freedom!

As practice makes perfect—I’ve used this advice in many situations. From new school, to new jobs, to new…whatever, I can show up and be present with people not only the way I want to be, but in the way they would want me to be. Every fresh start is an opportunity to learn about, and practice at, being the kind of person I want to be, a chance for self-mastery. Recently though, I’ve taken this advice a step farther.

I met a man and a fell in love. Then it didn’t pan out so I went out and got a boyfriend. That was an even bigger disaster that really wasn’t honoring anyone, so I planned a girl’s trip to get away. About two months ago, and a week before a nice long trip to Montana, I officially called it off with The Boy. We’d only been dating for five months (long enough to really understand it wasn’t going to be successful) and actually, he isn’t the point I’m trying to get to. One of the other girls on our “Cowgirl Up” trip also broke it off with her boyfriend in the week before we left and we both spent some serious time in the middle of nowhere, and in the middle of a few dark and lonely country bars, thinking about where everything might be going. It wasn’t too long after the girls and I came home that my newly single friend and I were chatting on the phone. She was expressing fear that’s so common when you’re first out of a committed relationship—will I ever find someone else again? I told her that these things just take time, that some days will be good, some will be really, really hard. And my father’s advice came back to me… I said, “You know what? Both of us are in a position that’s going to be rare for the majority of our lives. We probably won’t be single forever and so…not only should we enjoy this, but let’s spend the little bit of time we have as single, figuring out exactly what we want in our next partner.” I think being single is only scary and lonely if you can’t enjoy your own company. Not just the “bubble bath and a good book” type of alone time—but the trudging along waist deep in the muck and mire of our deepest, truest selves—being able to be still, with no distraction, in our own lives. Most people cannot do this.

There were a lot of things I really liked about The Boy. He’s tall, has a good sense of humor, can be very generous, and loves his work. These made it right onto the list of things I want in my future partner and have been sent out into the Universe as my truest intentions. For what goes out, comes right back in. These are not the only things on my list of course; I’ve been fine tuning it since way back when my father first explained that we can attract into our lives the kinds of things we want. Of course, I have to be strong and mature enough to turn down the guys who might come along that don’t have the character and integrity of the man I truly want—and that can be hard because, what if he’s my last chance? What if no one else ever comes along? Lol- that lie only works on me for about 30 seconds now—I’m old enough, wise enough, to recognize that that’s just my insecurities speaking and then I tell myself what most people can’t, “Even if that were true—I would be happier in the integrity of being alone than to settle.”

Thanks dad, for the knowledge, the power, and the boost of self-esteem. To know that I can have anything for myself that I can dare to dream? That’s freedom. Hmm…maybe I should shave my legs, call up the girls, and see what’s happening on the singles scene tonight. Wish me luck.

When life gives you lemons, become Amish.

I am at home with the perfectly familiar weight of the knife in my right hand. The way the smooth, cool, 1/4″ steel blade fits snugly between my thumb and forefinger. Rhythmic slicing, precision peeling, choreographed carving… Time is suspended and all actuality dissolves into itself like so much Turbinado sugar, cascading and encasing a delicatebaked cream; this is my meditation. I am the conductor of a beautifully spun symphony, imperceptible to the untrained eye. The soft pitter-pat of bubbles rising to the surface in a simmer; reaching crescendo at a soft rolling boil. Little trumpets of steam escaping from the sides of my double boiler while the beat is kept by knife meeting board as paper thin slices of lemon are cut. All of this plays with my heart strings the way Maxim Vengerov makes the violin sing. It is here, in these moments, where art truly meets life; where I cam create magic.
Up until fairly recently this was enough. Somehow, it’s not anymore– and this has had me thinking of what my next move(s) might be. Change is often scary for most people (I am no exception) and while I enjoy the dreaming and planning involved in how I might be the next Martha Stewart (minus the bad attitude and jail time; of course) and/or an advisor to the President on such topics as the effects of GMO products on society or sustainable agriculture, for example, I’m always left slightly overwhelmed. And not even by the obvious things! Lets just pretend that I have bottomless funds, endless ability to relocate–and that when I do I instantaneously know how to get around and have a thriving social life, and that some noteworthy college would actually accept me. We’ll pretend that none of this makes me nervous; I’ve climbed that mountain a few times. It is that little voice inside my own head that is the biggest obstacle to face every time.
And so begin, all over again, the long “I’m not worthy” debates. The: “Is my butt too big?”, “Do you think he’ll call me?”, “What if I get to Yale and I’m the only one who can’t sing acapella?” debates. And we have these conversations with anyone who will entertain us, and mostly with people who have to love us: children, sisters. best-friends… How is it, when we come into this world little balls of pure love, that we’re either jaded or broken by the time we’re supposed to be on our own? Where does all this fear come from? In the words of the Black Eyed Peas featuring Justin Timberlake (and frankly, who doesn’t have a song on their life’s soundtrack that doesn’t include some J.T.?), “Where is the love?”.
I found the answer in a Steve Carell movie, Dan in Real Life,by Touchstone Pictures. In less than 10 words I was completely set free from every situation in which I was ever damaged. When I remind myself of this golden truth it’s like taking a double shot of self-esteem.
“Love is not a feeling, it’s an ability.”
Take a second and really ponder that…isn’t that great?! This means that every time someone showed up in our lives and didn’t give us the kind of grace, or respect, or decency that we deserved– it wasn’t because we are inherently bad; they just didn’t have the ability! Oh, sweet freedom! I’m actually as fabulous as my mom always said I was– and so are you!
Isn’t it easier to extend forgiveness to someone who just couldn’t love you the right way? Not because you’re unworthy, but because they were so broken. Sometimes, if we are having a good day and being very kind, we try to hold to that: “they did they best they could with what they had” story. But that doesn’t quite explain how they knew better than to treat other people like crap. The difference between the two is understanding what real love is: the ability to remove the glasses through which you view the world and extend something to someone that isn’t impatient, self-seeking, fault finding, or easily aggravated; something completely unconditional. It is very rare to find someone who has this ability.
We’ve all been told that by offering forgiveness to others, we help ourselves. I didn’t fully understand how until I realised that by not forgiving (essentially holding on to) “it” I could go back in time and relive that pain anew all over again; anytime i wanted, even involuntarily. Ick. And that’s to say nothing of the power we give others over ourselves when we look inside and see a victim. So, okay… your mother hit you repeatedly and not your sisters, or your dad couldn’t be bothered to even act interested in your recital, maybe your ex broke up with you because he wasn’t ready to wed and then married someone 2 months later… it happened, and we felt rejected. The good news? We can pick ourselves up firm in the knowledge that in fact: we are fabulous! We are strong, capable, intelligent, and worthy– they were just to broken to act accordingly.
I’m gonna get this pie in the oven and then I’m off to see about making some concrete plans to take on the world!
Quaker Lemon Pie
2 large Meyer lemons, sliced paper thin
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, beaten
2 pie crusts, your favorite recipe
1. For filling: in a medium non-reactive bowl, mix together lemon slices and sugar; cover and let stand overnight in refrigerator. Bring lemon mixture to room temperature . Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
2. Fit 1 pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Stir eggs into lemon mixture and pour into pan. Top with remaining crust. Trim excess dough and crimp to seal. Bake for 45 minutes, or until done. cool on wire rack

I am at home with the perfectly familiar weight of the knife in my right hand. The way the smooth, cool, 1/4″ steel blade fits snugly between my thumb and forefinger. Rhythmic slicing, precision peeling, choreographed carving… Time is suspended and all actuality dissolves into itself like so much Turbinado sugar, cascading and encasing a delicatebaked cream; this is my meditation. I am the conductor of a beautifully spun symphony, imperceptible to the untrained eye. The soft pitter-pat of bubbles rising to the surface in a simmer; reaching crescendo at a soft rolling boil. Little trumpets of steam escaping from the sides of my double boiler while the beat is kept by knife meeting board as paper thin slices of lemon are cut. All of this plays with my heart strings the way Maxim Vengerov makes the violin sing. It is here, in these moments, where art truly meets life; where I cam create magic.

It’s time for an oil change.

I was sitting in early morning meditation– having already expressed intent at the beginning to be given direction– concentrating on my breathing and watching the slow still shots of thoughts float by…into ever deeper breathing… a dark image came. I could barely make out the image through the sticky blackness that was created and I could feel the pain, anger, frustration, and hopelessness of the people there. This all happened in seconds of course and I knew instinctively where I was. So I sent my light out to Louisiana, knowing the Angels know where it is needed, and the image slowly drifted by like the others. gulf_oil_spill_leak16

I wasn’t more than a few seconds into my deep breathing again when Oliver, The Cat, jumped up on the side of the tub to say good morning. I scratched under his chin and then went back to my meditations. Perhaps feeling ignored, he spun around to leave and knocked a bottle of baby oil (which apparently wasn’t shut tightly) right into the bath water. Not one minute later I was having my own personal gulf spill situation. Made particularly annoying because I hate baby oil (this was not my bottle), I’m sorry–what is the purpose of this stuff? Tell me in what situation do you need something that gets everywhere, feels greasy, leaves stains, and refuses to come off without scrubbing down with soap at least three times? Anyways, I digress. As I came up out of the water (attracting all the surface oil on my way) to scrub off in the shower I of course realised, humbly, that the small and comical problem this was for me did not approach the horror that is the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that is happening right now. And between the inspiration during meditation, and the demonstration portion of the bath, I felt sure this should be the subject I search through next.

More than a month into the BP oil disaster and it is still leaking tens of thousands of barrels a day (by many estimates), BP isn’t close to solving this issue and hurricane season starts Tuesday. This company, this BP (whatever that means–and it turns out nothing, more on that later), is single-handily ruining our oceans, and damaging the planets food chain from the very bottom up. Can this be solved before entire biological species’ reproductive systems are altered or they are destroyed all together? Could the government step in and help solve the problem and send BP the bill later?

I was curious about this company that according to our President is supposed to be responsible for this disaster so I did some digging (no pun intended) around and found that it is only ever referred to as some “British oil giant”… what? According to the abbreviation for BP once referred to British Petroleum but in 2000 the company dropped the name and left the abbreviation, standing for…nothing. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), on of the largest PSU companies in India, is also often connected with BP but they actually have investors, individuals and institutions, worldwide. So much for an accurate boycott.

I don’t know. I don’t know how to fix this. But I do know something about lighthouses.


“When the lighthouse strikes its light, it does not measure the storm. It does not judge the storm. It does not say to itself, “I must understand where this is all going” before it shines the light. All it knows is that it was built to endure darkness, mighty wind and the waves that will crash endlessly over its structure. It’s not afraid, either. It doesn’t know when the storm will end, how powerful it will become, or the reasoning behind its creation…It never questions how it became light, either, but it knows who it is, and what it is for. It also knows that the light it carries is expected and those in the dark are looking for it.”

-Kryon, Book Eleven
It is my hope (Hebrews 6:19), that all of us as spiritual lighthouses, shine forward our light into the darkness that surrounds this situation. That we help to manifest change for them without our own ideas as to how it should be done. Just visualizing Louisiana in peace and prosperity. Magical things have happened in my meditations and prayers since I’ve been approaching them without an agenda. Sometimes I simply ask Father to send me the inspiration I need; sometimes I just manifest the pure light of Spirit around me and let Heaven direct it to where it is needed. The intention is there but I am not placing any limitations on Spirit by saying how it ought to be done or by when. Instead of praying, “Please let this top kill plan work before Tuesday when hurricane season gets here” I just pray, “Please bless Louisiana is be clean, prosperous, and joyful.” Heaven can handle the who’s, whats, wheres, and whys of the miracles– and not putting limitations on them leaves space for more of them to be used.

“Let your light shine before men…” (Mathew 5:16)

Poor Old Michael Finnigan, Begin Again…

I’ve been thinking about beginnings. Appropriately enough I have decided to begin a blog. I assure you I am under no delusion that anyone is particularly interested in what I am doing, or have to say, enough to warrant an online journal ( I myself have been turned off by society’s recent affinity with themselves). — So please, make no assumptions. I am merely standing at a new beginning with the hope of outwardly expressing intent. My deepest dream? To live on my , most-true authentic path. To be, “fulfilled by my own life hourly”, as I once heard Julia Roberts describe her own path.

I have had the notable pleasure of having had many extraordinary beginnings. I’ve begun remarkable relationships, extensive education, beautiful meals, and auspicious travel… deep prayer, long bubble baths, and juicy conversations… As I’ve been pondering the experiences I’ve already had I wondered if they were leading me anywhere in particular? Can I look back and say, “I’ve worked really hard to get where I am and where I am is exactly where I want to be”. While I would say “yes” I have had to go through a lot of hard work; and I suppose “yes” it has led me to a place of greater self-mastery and daily divine inspiration, the answer is definitely “no” I haven’t reached a place where I am content. At least physically…

You know that old saying that goes, “the only thing certain in life is uncertainty”? Yea. And I am so acutely aware of this life law that most days I’m uncertain how I’ll even pay the next bill… Coming to a place where I can live in peace with this fact has been long and difficult to say the least but I have recently become more masterful at it. I’ve learned to apply one of life’s other majestic laws– the one about being so present in the moment that even the next 5 minutes isn’t on your radar. And so moment to moment, grace to grace, I deal. And it was important to me to build my metaphorical house on a firm foundation– So I know in some respects it could appear (and even I have worried) that I’m starting a little late. But this path, this journey, matters to me! And I’ve been listening– that those who are divine– those spiritual lighthouses–are built upon rock. I’ve had to strip down nearly 80% of my life just to begin building it back up again in a way that is healthy and strong. This has left me in a position where most of my efforts and concerns were on a more spiritual/healing journey then say…landing myself at a Fortune 500 company. And while a part of me wishes I could live the life of a monk in Tibet, with concern for only the important things *wink wink*, I have gotten a more steady stance on my own firm foundation, and I have discovered that the idea of marriage, children, career, or whatever day-to-day tasks make up this worldly life, are not so scary anymore. And frankly, no one is offering up the big bucks for me to just sit around and “find myself”. So I guess I’m at another new beginning… creating a more comfortable existence within the world physically. Anyways, I’d like to express gratitude to myself– for not doing what I wasn’t ready to do when everyone else thought I was strange; for not beginning things I wouldn’t have been able to finish (at least gracefully and without hurting others); and for not being so scared to begin… this time around