The inevitability of suffering is the connector between us all. It is the great leveler, and it is the ground of compassion. Our common human experience of the struggle back to balance compels us to help one another, to try to understand. It calls us to volunteer, to give, and to ease the way for others in any way possible. This is the remarkably … Read More The Ground of Compassion
Category: Being There
Today’s the day! The waiting is over! “Heroic Compassion” is now available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback. It is my sincere wish that this book will provide you with a new and inspiring perspective on the difficulties of life, recovery from trauma or loss, and the nature of our spiritual journey here. Deep thanks to each of you who have encouraged … Read More Hot off the Press!
Our work here on earth during a physical incarnation is not in exile, alone, on a planet far away from our spiritual home. Heaven, or Spirit, is intrinsic to our every breath, and closer to us than our own thoughts. We are spirits, each of us, experiencing temporary lives in finite, mortal, fragile human bodies, in a setting where fear, lack, and physical pain … Read More On Being Human… Again
You asked me to write a book. After a year and a half of blood, sweat, and carry-out, it’s finally time to let you know that your book is ready and waiting for you wherever you buy e-books and from Amazon. It has been an incredible experience to write a book after blogging in small, manageable chunks for so many years, but I’m so … Read More Launch Day for Heroic Compassion!
With only about two chapters left to write in my new book, “Heroic Compassion” I want to devote a chapter to healing. I know what I’ll be saying, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. There is an expression, “When you can tell your story and it doesn’t make you cry, you’ve really begun to heal”. Does this sum it up for you? Why? … Read More Asking Readers: What Does It Mean to Heal?
When I let people know that I’m a medium – that I connect people with their loved ones in spirit – one of two things happens. Either they lean in with interest, “Wow, really? Is that stuff real? What’s it like?” or they glaze over, try to look polite, and back away as quickly as possible. I get that. Despite the incredible popularity of … Read More Down to Earth Mediumship
Over the years, many of you have commented that you enjoy my writing style and the subject matter that I bring forward. You’ve even encouraged me to write a book! Well, thanks to you, that project has been underway for a little over a year now. With just a chapter or two to go, it’s coming together. The working title is: Heroic Compassion ~ Inviting … Read More There’s going to be a book!
There are countless qualities that we seek to master during the course of our lives – patience, endurance, joy, truth, wisdom, dignity – you know each of them intimately. These lessons step forward humbly, disguising themselves as poverty, heartbreak, skin color, illness, political affiliation, disability, and as every other possible aspect of a person’s circumstances. The disguises, the costumes, are the very things we … Read More Walking Each Other Home
Or, more appropriately, “back in the blogosphere”. It has been three and a half years since my last post. Wow. Do they even say “blogosphere” anymore? Doesn’t matter. I’m back. One by one, the horses in my stories here all went to new homes – a process that broke my heart again and again. But, they are well and happy. I have kept up … Read More Back in the Saddle ~ so to speak
There is a beautiful old song that begins: Bright morning stars are rising Bright morning stars are rising Bright morning stars are rising Day is a-breaking in my soul So many of you have written to me since I fell out of the blogosphere, asking how I’m doing and offering support. My sincere thanks to each of you for the kind words and encouragement. … Read More Bright Morning Stars
The phone rang this morning somewhere between measuring out pills for the dog and dressing Captain’s wound. “RED ALERT!” woooop! woooop! wooop! (The ringtone for my parents is the Star-Trek battle alarm) I turned off the ringer, having learned decades ago that buying myself a few moments to prepare for whatever is about to fall in my lap is well worth the delay. Message: “They’re coming for … Read More Mindfulness: The Graduate Program
She’s 180 lbs of soft, furry, brindle mastiff love – and she’s very ill. She may die, and she may pull though. I don’t know. About the only thing that I do know, is that I don’t know. That’s a hard place to be, but it offers some stunning and sometimes very painful opportunities to practice living in this moment. Not quite a week … Read More Not Knowing, and other disasters
Trying to learn to ride a horse at fifty-something is daunting at best. I’m quite sure that I break more easily than I did when I was ten, and the idea of ending up in a body cast isn’t appealing in the slightest. That said, I don’t seem to have any particular fear of falling. So, why do I seize up with anxiety at the … Read More What are you afraid of?
As I stepped into the barn on this cool morning, all three horses were still and silent. I was among them, welcomed. They neither turned to greet me nor turned away. They simply accepted my presence as part of their own. For most of us, the barriers that we erect to keep our ‘self’ safe preclude this kind of openness. We brace for impact … Read More On Meditation
At some point in my life, I became a champion of little things. I don’t remember when this happened, which isn’t unusual because I have such a quirky memory. What I do know is that I’ve always been fascinated by the tiny. Miniscule beads, insects, seeds, just about anything mini is interesting in some way to me. This has been quite a challenge, I … Read More It’s the Little Things
As I was mucking stalls last night, sweating and heaving soggy, stinking wads of bedding into the wheelbarrow, I caught myself feeling guilty, almost panicked, that I wasn’t getting enough work done. The anxiety swelled, and somewhere between shovel-fulls I actually heard myself say, “I don’t have time for this! I have work to do!” Oh, dear. I haven’t written in weeks, there are four massive … Read More Being Human Doings
Alarm shatters sleep long before dawn helter skelter fumbling for shower and what to wear pulling on a sock and email between sips of coffee cat food dog food fish food horse food me food almost done check the dog water, refill oh, forgot dog pills get cheese need milk, need cat food… Grab keys, turn off lights pat dogs, pat cat, say good-bye out … Read More Morning’s Quiet Green
This afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak to a very wonderful group of women. I had no inkling that it was I who would be spoken to. It was a work thing. I was to go and give a lunch-time talk about our organization to a group of elderly ladies at the Jewish Community Center in the city where I work. I had stressed … Read More The Most Important Thing
Two apples from Panera, chopped into tiny pieces, tucked into a ziplock bag. Step out through the mudroom with me into the dusk, on this, the first night of spring. Mind the cat, he’s deaf. Sixteen years old, and he still catches mice. I find the tails and gut-bits on the mudroom floor where he spends his retirement stretched out in the sun. Appreciate the skreeeee-BANG … Read More First Evening of Spring
There’s a bell that hangs from the oak in the pasture. It’s a remnant from another life, another place, hung with great care during the first months of living here. I didn’t know this pasture yet. I didn’t know the intimacy of the hills, the trees, the sandy clay soil that resists the efforts of even the toughest grasses. I didn’t know Jess, or who we would become … Read More The Pasture Bell
Photograph by Zen Doe Spring seems to be on permanent hold this year. The flowers have tried their hardest not to bloom. A few have surrendered to the force of their nature and opened, only to be frozen or crushed by snow. The horses are shedding, the spring birds have arrived, but there’s not a warm day in sight. It seems everyone and everything … Read More The Path of Waiting
Quick! Get your camera and follow me! Out the back door, your boots half on, through the rustle of last year’s leaves, rain-soaked by this evening’s freak spring thunderstorm. Watch out for the branch there, the one that fell in the snow storm. Shuffle across the almost dark yard with me, and out to the round-pen. Don’t zip your jacket. We don’t have time. … Read More March Evening Fog
Anaïs Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” Winter is still clinging tightly to the pasture. The icy wind threatens, and despite the sun there are still patches of snow. Yet, almost imperceptibly, spring is being born. There is mud where the snow has been. The grass is … Read More The Courage to Risk
silver snow-lit night black crow scribes his epitaph dragging broken wings For three days, he held his position under the bird feeder, scrappy enough to scare off the squirrels. Hopping around the yard and cawing like a fish monger, you’d think he was still king. Last night, I watched him leave his post. He made the arduous trek to the front field and disappeared. I’ll remember … Read More Broken Crow
The rains came yesterday, cold and constant, saturating the already-soaked ground and turning the paddock into a swamp. There are hoof prints a foot deep in spots, where restless horses churned up the earth as they endured the relentless frigid pounding. This morning, they huddle in a soggy clump, already recovering and patiently waiting for the sun. Fog drapes itself around them like silk. … Read More Intimate Solitude
The sun took tentative steps from behind February clouds this morning. A winter’s worth of mud conceded, retreated a fraction of an inch, not quite ready to admit the twitchings of little grass roots. Just today, horses play and tease, nibbling the hem of my jacket, back to life after months of bracing against cold. Step into the barn. Quiet ~ then whooosh of tiny bird wings. … Read More Spring Whispers
At the paddock gate, stop to become horse. The whirlwind of everyday thoughts has no useful place here Leave grind-mind at the gate, as you would your shoes outside the door of the temple Listen! Listen with your fingertips, to the cold of the latch Hear with your eyes, the beads of night-dew frozen now in splendid prisms. Listen! Become a great wide door to the … Read More Are You Listening?
My fingers are already burning, flashing white, begging me to go back into the house, out of this bitter, bone-jarring cold. It will be dead dark in half an hour. The horses crowd to the barn, irritable and hungry, jostling for position and charging at one another. The wind drives nails through our skin. In their stalls, they pace and snort as though winter were a tiger, … Read More The Boy Who Brought Potatoes to Horses
In the six months following Jess’s death, I could barely bring myself to go to the barn except to feed and water the other horses. What was once a refuge and an inspiration had become a spot that was too tender to touch. I allowed myself a luxury that I began to realize I’d never experienced – grief. “It’s just a horse.” Yeah, I know. But, … Read More Captain, My Captain
Jess’s passing left an enormous empty space in the pasture. Not only did Kit and Little Horse grieve in their way, now confused and leaderless, it was also hard on the mare next door. For more than twenty years, Jess had been over-the-fence neighbors with the two Belgian draft horse mares in the adjacent field. These girls had known and supported one another through harsh, bone-crushing winters and through languid, … Read More The Heart Calls
Sometimes, the best you can do is enough. Being strong for someone can be the hardest thing a soul can endure. But, you do your best – for love, for duty, to be of help. You stumble. You make mistakes. Your fear makes little unexpected appearances, cameos, and you pray that you’ll hold fast long enough to see this thing through. You fail in a … Read More Helping a Horse to Die Well
This evening, I sat for a long time in the field with them while they grazed. Just watching, just breathing with them. After a time, it was just Jess and me. I went to the barn to get her mane and tail brush. She followed me. I needed to spend some time just with her. She knew that and followed me into the barn, … Read More Good Night, Jess
Horses. They take their time letting you in. Trust is measured in years, not moments. They can be aloof, pissy, and sometimes terrifying in their strength. But, when they open their hearts to you, there is nothing like it on earth. They take up residence in your soul. They whisper directly into your chest, bypassing your defenses. All horses are unicorns. Jess will only … Read More Horse Tale
I am happy. I am blessed. How wonderful is it, to go out to your back pasture in the warm summer twilight, and to whistle, loud, through your teeth like your dad taught you to do, and to wait… wait in the damp silent darkening green. You hear them through your feet. Then a flash of white, and three horses gallop thundering black and … Read More At the End of the Day, Horses