One More Time

It is only by risking ourselves
from one hour to another
that we live at all.
-William James

Maybe you know what this feels like:
You stand in the desert, lift your eyes to the horizon.
It would take ages, days, lifetimes it seems
to reach the edge of your vision.
Your chest lifts, soul expands. You and this land,
you conspire together, plan the birth
of wisdom and freedom and joy.

Or you lie on the deck of a ship in the middle of the ocean at night.
The Milky Way hovers, glittering and majestic. But close
like it has something to tell you, a secret,
the mysteries of the universe.
You are on the edge of all you’ve ever wanted.

I want THAT. One more time.
Resting. Standing.
Perched
at the edge
of all potential.

And memory floods this moment.

One more time
I want to walk Las Ramblas in Barcelona
where tango and flowers and music embrace me.
I want another meal in the kitchen with the cook
singing spanish love songs to the food,
infusing that food with love–the most nourishing of all.
I want to swim with sea turtles at dawn,
to hear a baby say their first word, watch her take her first step,
even to witness her get her heart broken for the first time, a risk,
a sign that she’s choosing life in all its duende.

I want to dance salsa in the moonlight,
teach a grandchild to knit, ride a bike, bake a pie.
I want to stand on a mountain, the sun on my face,
all the sunlight I can hold. Full. Radiant.
I want to smell jasmine tea.
To notice and photograph the prisms of light
in water droplets I discover on flowers in the garden.
I want to hike through lemon groves along Cinque Terra.
I want to cheer at my child’s graduation. Throw parties.
Write old fashioned hand-penned letters to friends I adore.
I want room service and hot baths and good books with stories I can get lost in.

Most of all, I want to relax
into the pleasure of loving.
Loving like I did as a child.
Without conditions or fear or reservation.
What I wouldn’t give for more fearless love.
Just one more time.

That’s why I won’t let this get me down.
I want the beautiful, painful, risk-taking adventure we’re all on
together too much. Too much. Holding nothing back.
One more time.
And again.
To life.

I was asked to write this piece for the 2014 Pink Ball in Walla Walla. Huge thanks to Amy Vixie (founder and president of JUGS, a non-profit organization that puts on the annual fundraising event) for the invitation. It was a beautiful event, and I am grateful and honored to have been involved.

I post it today, as the Grand Cardinal Cross graces the skies, as a celebration of life, a reminder to be courageous, to live fully, to love unconditionally. To life.

{ 1 comment }

Go go go. Hurry up. There is so much to see and do. And so little time. Keep up.

I have spent most of my life pushing, rushing, overcommitting, and spreading myself thin. Getting up early and staying up late. Not wanting to miss a thing, and believing in some part of me that if I could just add more accomplishments to my list, I’d feel better, safer, perhaps like I’d arrived.

But that’s not how it works.

Recently, at a Mama Chaos Club gathering (one of my favorite things!) we discussed the idea of slowing down.

Do nothing and everything will be done. – Lao Tzu

It is a scary concept for many of us. And I’ll be honest, I seem to be surrounded by high achievers with busy schedules who have big goals and lots on their plates. I like you! I do. And I think this conversation about slowing down is worth having.

What does it mean about who you are if you slow down? Think about it.

What does slowing down even mean?

  1. Step back. Take a breath.
  2. Say “no” more often.
  3. Be still and present with yourself for a moment (or two).
  4. Do things to feed your soul, not because there is a certificate or grade or accolades at the end. Do these things because they feed you.

Lao Tzu isn’t suggesting that we shut down, that we don’t set goals, that we let life pass us by. But instead, we can discern and go with the natural flow of things. Stop the glorification of busy. Smell the roses. Drink a cup of tea. Chew your food. Maybe even lie on the beach in the sun, drinking a piña colada, giving yourself time to think and write and rest and enjoy and create. Learn to be with still with yourself from time to time. Breathe. And learn to go with the flow.

The push, the rush, the overcommitment and overwhelm take their toll on our bodies, our relationships, and our hearts. This week, think about slowing down, giving your adrenal system a breather, and focus on being present. Report back on what you notice. I’d love to hear.

{ 0 comments }

Because seriously, who doesn’t want to feel sexy in their own glorious body? Who doesn’t want to radiate?

1. Be your own lover.

Whoa, now. Keep reading. What I’m talking about is genuine, unconditional self-love that requires an open heart. You’ve got to love yourself to let that sexy shine! So look yourself in the mirror and say “Amy, I love you!” Well, you know. Say your own name. Yes, talk to yourself. Do it. It’s good for you. It’s good for sexy. And you don’t need anyone else for this. It’s all you. Gettin’ real.

2. Drink water.

Water is cleansing, you know. It helps to make us shine. It keeps our insides functioning right and it makes our outsides reflect that truth. We need water for clear skin, bright eyes, and good energy. Drink up.

3. Eat your greens.

Do you have any idea how much your body loves greens? Wow. So much. It craves them. Greens are nutrient-dense foods that provide vibrant energy, vitamins and minerals, just the right amount of inner-exfoliation too, so once again our insides are happy and our outsides can reflect it.

4. Move your body.

Walk. Run. Bike. Yoga. Swim. CrossFit. Zumba. Spin. Ski. Dance. Wrestle. Thumb-wrestle if that’s all you can do. Wiggle and turn. Take the stairs. Move your body with joy. Celebrate the ways in which you move. Exercise is good for stress reduction — and that increases sexy right there. It helps with blood sugar regulation (avoiding mood swings which are decidedly unsexy) and decreasing risk of all sorts of unsexy diseases and aches and pains. Move with joy and increase the sexy.

5. Be kind.

Kindness is sexy. This doesn’t mean be a doormat. I once said that I liked a friend who was an asshole in all the right ways. (?!) What I meant was not that I think being a jerk is hot, but that I like chutzpah and guts and the willingness to put it all out there — all backed up by a big heart. You can be kind and driven at the same time. Bullying, posturing, ego-fueled behavior is not attractive in the bigger picture. We need warriors, and we need kindness. Strength and kindness are not mutually exclusive. The underlying kindness is what lends an action virtue when we’re talking about sexy.

Let me recap: Love yourself. Drink water. Eat your greens. Move your body. Be kind.

That there, my friend, is an excellent start. All of them doable today. And if you’re smiling right now… Boom. Bonus points. Well done. This is about you feeling good in your own body. When you feel good, you radiate. You feeling sexy is sexy. And the only opinion that really matters at all right now is yours.

XO

Why wallowing might have a role in healthier living

If you’re anything like me, you get messages every day telling you to be positive, find your gratitude, fake it ’til you make it, and use affirmations, affirmations, affirmations. I’ll be honest, I have done all of those things. I’m a big fan of gratitude. I am, by nature, quite positive. And I like affirmations. […]

Read the full article →

Resolutions: Just For Today

You know that episode of How I Met Your Mother in which Marshall makes a “sweeping declaration” that he will “never get drunk again”? In case you haven’t seen it  (season 7, ep 2), it’s probably not hard to believe that in the next scene we find Marshall… you guessed it… drunk. What?!? Right. Drunk. […]

Read the full article →

When I return from Istanbul

This weekend, in my heart, I will be staying in a tastefully appointed (ridiculously luxurious) flat located over a designer boutique in a gorgeous district of Istanbul. I will run along the waterfront, soak in marble baths, wander palace grounds, marvel at the rich history of the city, eat and drink things the pleasure of […]

Read the full article →

Increasing Happiness

I’ve been having a lot of discussions recently about happiness. And as I was driving through the beautiful countryside on my way to have dinner with people I love, I couldn’t resist the urge to ask you for feedback. Here’s my question for you: What have you done today to increase your happiness? I don’t […]

Read the full article →

Four Weeks of Gratitude

This morning I left Seattle early. Much earlier than I would have liked. I was tired and groggy and a little bit grumpy. But as I drove across the bridge, early morning light reflecting off the water, I noticed the view and something shifted. I was grateful to be awake. Grateful to have that view […]

Read the full article →

Courage: from the heart

Courage. It’s about heart. It’s raw and real and comes from the deepest part of who we are. It’s not about accomplishment or victory. Courage is a way of being. A choice. Standing in the awesome (as in inspiring awe or fear) truth of who we are… and revealing it. Courage comes from LOVE. The […]

Read the full article →