I must apologise to those of you who read my post, Meet the Crew last week; I’m sorry I had a menopausal mental blip and put Emerson instead of Whitman as the author of ‘Song of Myself’ in the header quote. A dear friend pointed it out in an email. On a wordlover’s blog, it’s not just embarrassing but mortifying.

It happens every week now…the names Dawn and Gail, Fiona and Heather; in December it was kitchen and Christmas; on Friday it was Musketeers and Mohicans. Somewhere in my brain, they become lexically interlinked and sometimes, frighteningly – for a linguist – interchangeable.

I wonder if word brain cells can get used up? Over the years, I’ve been fluent  – lived – in several languages not my own and studied four others for school and university level exams; so many words for every thought, every stick of furniture, every change of the wind, emotion and morsel of food; so many songs, emotions and colours… the names of hundreds of students over the years. Songs learned by heart, poems and extracts for exams, coaching Proficiencies and Masteries, conjugations, declensions, plants and spices, a word-obsessed life that thrives on details and will choose squirm over wriggle for an embarrassed adult on a sofa…. The cracks are showing now, and words – whole memories – are slipping through, getting stuck in my brain’s filing cabinets, fouled up between brain and fingers, thought and voice. Cruel, really, that plummeting hormones can cause such crevasses, such crises and earthquakes of self.

Or maybe it’s hearing my ninety year old dad telling me the same stories over and over and over again, every day, every phone call, every visit, watching him fade like a photograph, pixel by pixel as he clings on to his dignity, his humour, his independence and sense of self… maybe it’s seeing his multitudes thin out, pack up and wander slowly home that’s frightening me more than Whitman and Emerson, my crippling perfectionism and my bouts of word loss.

Who would we be without the words that frame our thoughts? It doesn’t bear thinking about.


When I’m lost or troubled, I read fewer blogs and more books, real books, the kind you can hold and take notes from. The more rattled and scattered I am, the more I crave books about creativity and writing, especially those written by poets about poetry. The process of reading and note-taking calms me. Because they invoke all kinds of connection and contemplative practice, good books about writing are really guides to leading a more engaged life, inspiring us to distill the essence of our experience so we can share it creatively, and, if we’re lucky, connect with the hearts and minds of those we we long to reach.

Last week, I grabbed a pen and a notebook and re-read Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook. It’s so much more than a book about understanding poetry; it’s a rallying call to experience life like a poet, to create something that has the power to change lives.

“A mind that is lively and enquiring, compassionate, curious, angry, full of music, full of feeling, is a mind full of possible poetry. Poetry is a life-cherishing force. And it requires a vision – a faith, to use an old fashioned term. Yes, indeed. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry. Yes, indeed.”

(Mary Oliver, from A Poetry Handbook)

Jotting down excerpts from A Poetry Handbook was a delight. Today’s post from the archives is an old article from my Coaching Moments column, but one I hope you’ll resonate with; I don’t know anyone who visits here who isn’t a life-cherisher, a capturer and framer of moments, a wordsmith or an artist.

Treasure Hunting

As a writer, you should have a sticky soul; the act of continually taking things in should be as much a part of you as your hair color. ~ Elizabeth Berg

I’m a quote-hunter, an unashamed gatherer of quotes. Capturing the words that resonate with me is like gathering wild berries, nuts and seeds, windfalls of fruit – food for thought.

Some stand out from the page or computer screen like the flash of a robin in a winter bush. Others are a rainbow of satin ribbons, waiting to be the right words to wrap around a bouquet of thoughts or to become the bow that sets off a simply wrapped sentiment. Then there’s the unexpected treasure, precious gems that dazzle with their brilliance. I keep them somewhere safe so that I can bring them out later, like a child fingering treasures wrapped in a handkerchief, hoping to find a special friend to show them to, someone who will understand.

I never go outCigdem Kobu's Ram Dass quote without a pen, a notebook and a book to read. When I read a book with a ‘quotebook’ and a pen handy, it’s a signal I send to myself and to the universe. It says “I’m open. I expect nothing, but I’m prepared to be moved, enlightened or entertained. I’m a student, ready and willing to learn from the lives and the wisdom of others.”

In my Filofax, stuck on the fridge, pinned to my pinboard and incorporated into my art work, albums and blog, quotes serve as flashes of inspiration, mini mission statements and signposts to keep me on track. Dead poets become heroes, strangers become mentors.

I use a different instinct, a different skill when I capture a quote. In many ways, it’s like the honing in and the active listening I do as a coach.

Finding the perfect quote that illustrates several sentiments or pulls together a complex train of thought is similar to recognising an Aha! moment in a coaching session. It’s synchronicity’s way of helping us focus and pay attention.

Our first instincts are often the ones that bypass our censors and cruel inner critics which is why many quotes become deeply personal and precious to us. They’re like messages sent from our own souls. Every time you choose a quote that resonates with you, don’t stop to ask why; just write it down and keep it safe. Quotes are like photographs, snapshots of who you are, who you were. They’re music that moves you, lyrics that leave you scarred. They’re memories of a moment when you came upon someone else’s words and felt connected, not only to another human being, but to the moment, the thought and the feeling that overflowed from them and cried out to be heard. The ‘Me too!!’ or  ‘That’s it exactly!!’ moment.

It’s our unique life experience and how we channel, choose and arrange the moments, the music and the words that makes us writers, creating collages that turn our lives into works of art.

Learning to resonate with those moments strengthens the treasure-hunting in our coaching sessions; those repeating words that draw our attention, those powerful silences when our clients connect to an answer nestling patiently in their souls, waiting to rise and take flight – they’re the gems.

I never know how my words will affect others but I do know that my best coaching happens and my best pieces write themselves in the moments when I’m most alive, aware and open. Some moments of clarity or emotion are so powerful they brim up and overflow and make me feel that if I don’t channel them into words, control them and create something from them that I will drown or that something very precious, something vital will be washed away and lost. When I sit down to recreate those moments, I feel like my whole life, everything I know and everything I am is a prism being used to refract the light of a message coming, quite simply, from somewhere else.

When I coach well, I feel the same connection.

Know then, that if anything I ever write affects, moves, touches or supports you, it was meant for you, sent from somewhere that neither of us can fully comprehend. I’m happy to be the messenger.

Meet the Crew

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then . . . . I contradict myself;
I am large . . . . I contain multitudes.” ~ Walt Whitman (from Song of Myself)

hearts by Heleen - Dutch Colours/ Dutch SistersIt’s blog spring cleaning time again and all of my selves are enjoying the process of renewal. Everything, everything is made easier by my decision to craft my life around how I want to feel.

My editor brain is enjoying the quest for clarity; the re-writing, the deleting, the cutting, pasting and re-ordering of my narrative.

The life coach in me is enjoying the big questions: Who am I? How do I serve? What do I want to share? With whom? Why? How? Where do I want to go? How do I plan to get there?

The lingust and language teacher are evangelists for connection, for learning and sharing.

The translator instinctively understands – lives and breathes – the concepts of heart connection, vibrant expression, authenticity… the filtering of essence and soul. (Perfectionism? Anxiety about getting things ‘right’ before they’re made public? Part of the territory.)

The homelife coach shares those obsessions, but she applies them to the notion of homes as sanctuaries, galleries, gathering places, life-museums: her realm is the relationship between function and form, the balance between simplicity and warmth in the shared spaces, between serenity and cosiness. Am I living my life by design? What am I holding on to? Why? What does it say about me? These are her questions. She loves letting things go to make room for what matters most. She’s the one who HATES the clunky, stuck, cluttery, unfixable bits of her blog and so spends hours learning CSS and HTML and searching for that perfect – but elusive – free WordPress theme, the one that’ll pull everything together.

The homemaker – mother and wife? She wants to create a home where folk are loved, cherished, supported, championed, heard… She curates, treasures connection and is always available.

The daughter? Exhausted. Caring for a ninety year old father is an honour, a hymn of gratitude and also, sometimes, a challenge; she often has to press the blogging OFF switch.

The writer? Ah, well, she has the easiest role; as long as she can be authentic, everything’s fuel.

The songwriter, lover of music and poetry? Desperate to share her favourite music, lyrics and poems but frustrated by copyright laws and technology.

The poet? Waiting. She doesn’t mind; she just keeps soaking it all in and taking notes.

The painter? Also waiting, but resenting that blogging takes her away from days spent inspired, immersed in colour, details and texture, watching something recreate itself in paint. I suspect she also plays a major role in the longing to log off.

The crocheter? Couldn’t care less about blogging; she’ll post pictures of colourful blankets someday, but she comes to life when the laptop clicks shut.

The quotehunter? The reader? Longing to share everything, but biding their time, reading… filtering… building up to that moment when the jug overflows… they’ve gathered thousands of quotes to share, but ah…the filing and sorting is a chore.

So that’s a few of my me’s, but enough to illustrate my complex relationship with blogging.

How many you’s make their way into your blog? Do you ever feel like you have multiple blogging personality disorder? Which of my blogging selves do you resonate with most?

In my clearing out today, I found this version of my very first post, published in 2008 on a simple wee practice blog before I  launched properly. My decision to keep it got me wondering why, so I decided not to bin it. I still visit craft blogs for pleasure, and it seems I still have the same blogging values as I did back then.

Autumn Hearts

I love unique blogs full of exuberance, creativity and pure authentic passion. Blogs that feel like snack food for the soul. Blogs that don’t make me feel like my only purpose as a reader is to bump up the numbers at a vampire fest. I logged on today to learn from some of the world’s top pro-bloggers and ended up feeling like the poster child for how not to blog. A few of my crimes?

  • I use the word ‘I’ more than ‘you’.
  • I write about myself, my home and my family – one blogger called this “egocentritis”.
  • My favoured format isn’t daily How To… lists or Top 10 anythings.
  • My posts are so long they’d land me in blogging jail if there was such a place.
  • Even my short posts aren’t easily scannable by folk who like to whizz through dozens of posts a day.
  • My post titles aren’t written with search engines in mind.
  • I still think of you as a reader, not ‘traffic’ that needs to be ‘driven’ somewhere.
  • I haven’t stuck to one niche.

That’s why I was delighted to come across today’s Daily Mmmm… while I was doing what I call synchronicitous surfing, letting my natural curiosity take me from one link to another for the length of time it takes to drink a coffee.

A couple of curious clicks led me to a Dutch blog by a stay at home mum and part time teacher who makes little works of art, creative pieces rich in colour and detail. I love hand-made craft items that take time and love to create; in much the same way, I enjoy blog entries that aren’t just dashed off to feed the insatiable hunger of the search engines.autumn-hearts

I smiled when I came across these wee hearts; they warmed mine on a cold autumn day full of low self-esteem, self-doubt and ranting frustration. I wrote to the artist and asked her for permission to use this photo; she replied, in English, within minutes and her warm, appreciative response made my day.

Dutch colours: hearts | Dutch Sisters

Standing Stones and Sea Spray

If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are. ~ Austin Kleon

The lovely Sara, who inspires and supports over at A Sharing Connection, once mentioned in a comment that she hoped I’d keep painting, after reading something I’d written about painting, either this post or the extract below; she never said which.

I surprised myself by doing a wee bit of  painting last week. I’d offered to give my daughter some tips for capturing her features quickly in the self portrait part of her art exam, but I ended up inspired, transfixed, longing to do some ‘proper’ painting of my own again. Here’s the first eye I’ve ever painted; my daughter’s so beautiful, I could paint her all day long! The universe has a canny knack of nudging us with synchronicity, of healing us by reuniting us with our deepest desires to create and share something with love, whether it’s a meal or a beautifully decorated table, a painting, a patch of garden or a piece of poetry or music.

Today I found myself wanting to share the sea-twinkle in my daughter’s eyes. When I master the technology, I’ll post a clip of her singing. Her voice is as warm, clear and sparkling as her eyes.

When I was clearing out, I found two of my old paintings and remembered telling Sara that I’d maybe post photos of them someday. Both were painted at a tiny table in my first studio flat in Greece; they’re just copies of ripped out calendar photos, postcards or photos from magazines – I can’t even remember now – but I do remember vividly how I was feeling as I painted them. It gave me a sense of home – of Scottish skies, dreich days and damp green winds….

…and the fresh excitement of a soul homecoming, of an inspiring new life lived by the sea.

I’m at a real crossroads right now, lurching between my deeply held belief that it’s OK to simply journal fragments of my life, to keep a weblog, a journal of days, and the realisation that with several hundred million blogs out there, I’m just adding to cyberclutter. But I’m comforting myself with the thought that quiet creativity and the sharing of those fragments keeps me real, keeps me authentic while I’m piecing myself together.

A Glimpse of Greece

for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves that we find in the sea ~ e.e.cummings

As promised, here are a few photos from last summer’s surprise bargain holiday to Greece. It’s taken me a ridiculous amount of time to retrieve, resize and upload them – my troubled relationship with technology and social media will probably end my pathetic journey as a blogger – but even though they’re not technically that brilliant (I visit photography blogs with jaw droppingly stunning photos!) I took them so I could share a wee heart journey with you.

As I clicked away on a small, borrowed digital camera, like a child shrieking Wow! every time I saw something new, these little hymns of gratitude organised themselves into stories and journeys: my first day, discovering the stunning views from our windows and balconies; the glorious flower beds that bordered the many steps down to the restaurant and tiny, private beaches; the deserted, secluded swimming pool which we had all to ourselves for a week; the day trips to favourite hidden coves, as empty now as they were thirty years ago when I first discovered them…

We opened the shutters when we arrived and found this… a little bit of heaven on earth…

It took me five minutes to walk down to the café, pool and beach as I kept stopping to take photos on the way down…

I love organic design and glimpses of the sea!…

glimpse of the sea

Then there’s my obsession with flowers…


On our search for the swimming pool, I discovered a wee bit of heaven – a tiny cove, thirty seconds from the pool, two minutes from the café restaurant…

..then this gate… leading to my son‘s idea of heaven!…

We then went exploring and discovered the private beach next to the café…

…and stopped off at the restaurant itself for a beer before tackling the thirty million steps back up to our wee apartment! (There’s a reason our balconies had the best views!)

This is the view from the restaurant one lunch time…

…and at dusk…

The rest of the week, we were happy to stay close to home, occasionally visiting old friends or taking trips along the coast, showing my son old haunts he’d been to as a child but couldn’t remember…

He couldn’t believe he had his pick of deserted beaches. My daughter and I used to find amazing heart shaped stones here…

heart stone beach 2

We had iced coffees and ice creams in local cafés…

…and I was allowed to indulge my obession for photographing doors and windows…

One night, as we sat on the balcony, simply enjoying a beer till the last smudge of light disappeared over the horizon, I said a quiet prayer of gratitude for it all and for my husband, who understands me and makes it all possible. The things I’ve spent my life doing – parenting, homemaking, caring for my elderly dad since his heart attack, writing, translating, teaching, painting, singing, songwriting, photography, homelife coaching – all require intense presence, focus, engagement… an ability to love details and just enjoy being. Greece is where I refuel my soul when life has left me depleted.

I’m glad you visited today; I really did take these with you in mind.


Home from Home

Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave but not our hearts. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Last June, my husband surprised us with a bargain holiday to the part of Greece where I used to live and work. We still have friends and godfamily there, and this is one of our favourite restaurants, a place that always whispers Welcome home… whenever I arrive.

I love listening to the waves lapping – sometimes crashing – against the rocks below. When my son was a wee boy, one of the waiters showed him how to scatter breadcrumbs to attract shoals of fish and catch them with a simple line.

That same evening, he carried my son’s only ‘catch’ out to us on a platter, fried, garnished and served with salad; it made a wee boy beam with pride.

From baby food to beer, crayoning books to iPhones, those rickety wooden tables have seen our lives unfold…

We ate there with close friends last summer, and our tall, handsome sons, once babies sleeping in pushchairs, were drinking beer, talking politics and swapping tales of university. As the sun set coral pink and mauve and a warm breeze stirred, I sat for a moment, smiling, just taking it all in, the memories ebbing and flowing like the waves below.

The restaurant has changed over the years, but the view stays the same, wrapping thirty two years of friendship, love and family in its eternal embrace.

Do you have a special place that always makes you feel like you’ve come home, no matter how long you’ve been away?

*I finally managed to retrieve and upload photos from the holiday, so, as promised last year, I’ll post a few this week. Better late than never!

Brave Authenticity

0901130011I read an article today about the SEO value of paring down categories and cleaning out archives. (February would seem to be my favourite month for clutter clearing – I’ve already shredded the contents of five photo albums in the last few days!) Fired up and ready to start culling and consolidating, I started off with posts in the AUTHENTICITY category.

At the end of an ancient ‘patchwork post’ from 2009, I found a list of some of my favourite authenticity quotes. As a cluster, they were a prescient glimpse of the blogging journey that lay ahead of me, and I smiled to myself, realising that my blog has always been a quiet manifesto for brave authenticity, one where even my absences and frequent jeremiads about ‘deciduous blogging’ have their place; many of us need periods away from the internet to replenish our spirits and reconnect to the real world.

Finding these words of wisdom today reminded me, too, of how much I feel at home when I’m quote-hunting, that simple, deliberate act of having a pen and notebook to hand when I read; I love the synchronicity of it, the filtering, the distilling and the sharing of other people’s gems and journeys.

Just rediscovering these quotes has thrown up ideas for new posts to write, old posts to revisit and an old manuscript that’s been haunting me… Do any of them resonate with you?

What we are really looking for is a sense of the real and an experience of true significance, true meaning. That can only come from one source. Deep down inside, every human being hears the echo of the experience of unity and wants it back. So we live our whole lives with only a vague sense of what it is we want but with the absolute knowledge that we had it once and it’s possible to have it again if only we knew how. ~ Sarah Susanka

The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is insincerity. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

If  I choose to ignore myself when I am in desperate need of my own attention, I will resent those I have deemed more important than me. Even though I might spend the day trying to be happy and pleasant, underneath I will feel depleted because I have made a choice that has depleted me. ~ Debbie Ford

Instead of trying to hide the emotional refuse that is festering with rot, bring it to light and stick it in the compost bin to be transformed into useful fertiliser that will grow your future better self. ~ Kathryn L.Robyn and Dawn Ritchie

When you are adrift from your core, the space between your surface and your depth fills up with anxiety. Too much time away from your inner home leads to homesickness. ~ Carrie McCarthy and Danielle La Porte

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In order not to cheat yourself, you have to make writing a high priority. You have to make it very nearly sacred. But you have to live the rest of your life. too; you have to allow room for all that makes you you, for all that feeds you. In my mind, being more than a writer means you’re more of a writer. ~ Elizabeth Berg

We are not powerless specks of dust drifting around in the wind, blown by random destiny. We are, each of us, like beautiful snowflakes –  unique, born for a specific reason and purpose. ~ Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

When you do not seek or need external approval, you are at your most powerful. Nobody can disempower you emotionally or psychologically…You cannot live for prolonged periods of time within the polarity of being true to yourself and needing the approval of others. ~ Caroline Myss

Falling Slowly

I ADORE this song. Love this version. My daughter and I used to harmonise and play it together and it always moved us to hugs or smiling tears. My son has it on a playlist and we used to belt it out in the car with the volume up when I drove him to college. So many layers of significance.

Some days it just says everything I’m feeling.

In my teens, twenties and thirties, I used to write my own songs and sang anywhere I was asked – cafés, tavernas, bars, college haunts, concert halls… These days, I just sing alone in the car. The first time I watched the DVD of ‘Once’, I had to leave the room, go to the bathroom and grab onto the sink with both hands, taking deep breaths, feeling like I’d drown with the pain of missing it, the moment when my voice resonated with someone else’s heart.

I could write about the film, write about the Oscar-winning soundtrack and the making of the film, but I’d rather urge you to rent the DVD and watch it. It’s poignantly life affirming.

This link used to take you to a video with scenes from the film, but it now says it’s only available in certain areas, probably just the States:  ONCE: Falling Slowly (Please let me know if it works for you.)

If you’re in the UK, the link below is music only:

Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

I don’t know you
But I want you
All the more for that
Words fall through me
And always fool me
And I can’t react
And games that never amount
To more than they’re meant
Will play themselves out

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice you have a choice
You’ll make it now

Falling slowly, eyes that know me
And I can’t go back
Moods that take me and erase me
And I’m painted black
You have suffered enough
And warred with yourself
It’s time that you won

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice

You’ve made it now
Falling slowly sing your melody
I’ll sing it loud

The Path of Love

path of loveWhat I now know is that losses aren’t cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That’s the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you’ve abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home. ~ Martha Beck

Have you abandoned yourself to please someone, to hold onto something, to hold something together? Are you clinging on so tightly to the past, a dead dream or the memory of a loved one that you fear you might fall if you reach out for a new love, a new life? Have disappointment and fear eroded your heart, left your soul fading slowly like a photograph?

If I ever feel the grey gauze of depression drifting around me like fog, like snow settling softly in the night, I do what I can to connect with the vibrant creativity of others so that their energy kickstarts my heart.

Sometimes it’s photography, sometimes poetry. The architecture around me or a well tended garden. Gift shops, galleries, yarn shops or beautifully decorated cafés – anywhere that creativity leaps out and sings to me.

If the darkness descends without warning and I feel myself starting to curl up tight and foetal, I listen to music that wedges my heart open like a foot in the doorway, music that seeps into my soul and unfurls me so that the light can stream back in on the wings of someone else’s words and carry me home…

I listen to songs like this.

What could you do, right now, to live your truth, to beckon your soul home?


*This was a horribly prescient post. I planned to publish it on a timed setting while I was away on a surprise holiday in Greece, my spiritual home, but shortly after my husband booked the bargain last minute flights, we learned that our daughter’s oldest friend was at death’s door. As always, I can’t share details here, but she’s someone we love very much – have done since she was a wee girl, a bright smiling bundle of cheeriness.

A miracle procedure saved her life, and though she’ll have ups and downs, I know she’ll thrive. She feels grateful to be alive, to have the love of a strong and adoring family and is determined to embrace any health challenges life now sends her way. During her time in hospital, all I could do was ‘love, let go and let God’, praying that she’d find her way back home to us all.

I’ll be honest, it’s been an exhausting six months; too much intense emotion and fear and too many hospitals and traumas in any short period take their toll. My holiday was short but gloriously healing and I’m longing to share the photos and memories with you; for now though, I just wanted to tell you that knowing you’re here, reading this, makes my wee blog feel like coming home, however long I’ve been away.

I Find Your Love

The sun, the sky, the rolling sea
All conspire to comfort me ~ Beth Nielsen Chapman

This song is by Beth Nielsen Chapman, my favourite singer songwriter. She can still write like this after being widowed, surviving cancer and the removal of a brain tumour that affected her use of language. It’s one of those songs that makes sense of things, that leads me back to love and connects me to those I’ve loved and lost or simply can’t be with.  It’s also an invitation to keep open, to not harden my heart when things get uncomfortable or difficult, to love myself and remember we’re all waves in the same ocean. To embrace what Buddhists call maitri – unconditional kindness to oneself.

It reminds me what it feels like to be touched by grace.

Even when my blog’s dormant, I see things everywhere I want to share with you – photos, songs, helpful things I’ve learned.  Blogging makes me want to connect with love, to rise above challenges and find the common red threads of humanity that connect us all. I have nothing to share but my journey through life and an overwhelming curiosity about yours; no niche, no stunning photography, no marketing magic, no seaside cottage renovations to share, no insanely useful writing tips, specialist recipes, expert crochet patterns, computer wizzardry insights, invocations to boldness, conversations with goddesses or insider knowledge about surefire ways to coach certification.

All you get here is my filtering of the world as I live out my life wondering what it’s all about, wanting to jump up and down like a wee kid tugging at your sleeve and pointing when I figure any of it out.

I’m still haunted by comment boxes that were full of chat, laughter and support, but the harder it’s getting, the more my heart’s opening, letting go and smiling. Pain peels back layers, lays you bare like love does. There’s no place for ego in writing; you either want to write or you don’t. Then you write – or you don’t. You have to trust that if you send your words out in a bottle, they’ll reach someone who needs to hear them.

Beth Nielsen Chapman couldn’t stop writing songs even if she wanted to. I know how that feels and I think that’s what I wanted to share with you here today. Please don’t stop writing; whether your blog gets visitors or not, keep writing. Stay connected to the beauty in everything around you, like you do when you’re in love. Stay open. Be kind to yourself…

I’ll catch your smile on someone’s face
Your whisper in the wind’s embrace
Through diamond stars and songs, and dreams
I find your love in everything
The sun, the sky, the rolling sea
All conspire to comfort me
From sorrow’s edge life’s beauty seems
To find your love in everything
I’ve come to trust the hope it brings
To find your love in everything
Even as I fall apart
Even through my shattered heart
I’ll catch your smile on someone’s face
Amazing grace