Bracelets in Guatemala

My friend Denise took another amazing trip to Guatemala. What an honor to have Healing Knots join her on this amazing mission of love and compassion. She shared this with me yesterday.

"I just wanted to share about the beautiful Healing Knots bracelets making their way to Guatemala last month. For the past four years, I have served at Eagle’s Nest Children’s Home for the month of January. Last year sweet Corinne sent me with bracelets to give to the “Mamas” that help take care of the 48 children that are at the Home. Since my Spanish is not the best, I had someone translate last year so they would know the story behind the bracelets. It was cool to see a few of the Mamas wearing the bracelets from last year. I noticed Antoinette was wearing the one that I had given her last year which was pretty cool…  She had no idea I had brought them again this year (different colors).

 Although I usually wait till the end of my trip to give out “gifts,” this year I decided to hand out the bracelets early. Losing a loved one, grieving, healing, and the long process of a heart healing is universal. I was honored to share the story behind the bracelets again this year for the new Mamas at the Home. A simple bracelet that reminds us to pray, share, love, laugh and give away if our heart is led to do so. Afterwards, I tossed them on the wooden table for them to pick one out. They took their time looking at colors, trying them on, some did a little trading before it was all said and done.    

Thank you Corinne for being such a friend, for your passion to help others heal, pray, and love with these bracelets. Hearts are being touched by the story behind the bracelets and I consider it a blessing to share them in Guatemala."


Inspiration on a Monday

You never know when inspiration will land in your lap. Yesterday I felt like a shower of love and support was pouring down on me! This came after a Sunday where I felt those cracks in my heart crack wide open again. 

My husband and I have a huge collection of CDs. Yes, for those of you that only think music can be loaded on an iPod, CDs are actually these round plastic things that have songs on them. One artist, songs that you love and some that you have never heard before. The collection of CDs really tells our story. From our courtship in California in the 1980s, to our early married years, through the years of raising children and poof….here we are with our 2015 drawers too full and time to clear out the clutter. 

Bob, my husband, is very methodical and went about this project in his very Virgo-engineer fashion. He pulled the collection into piles all over the den and started to evaluate each album. He started pulling the individual songs that were memorable, loading them on iTunes, and then began making the “giveaway” pile.

The giveaway pile is where I got involved. I looked at the pile of CDs that I did not recognize had never played and really could not believe we owned them. Then I realized these might work for some of my classes at the preschool or for the stretching classes I teach at times. So, my Sunday morning was filled with listening to music and making bracelets. Of course, those go hand in hand.  OH, and cups of good coffee. And this is where my heart got taken for a ride. 

I began to realize some of these CDs were gifts from my brother. Different artists that he had found that spoke to him. He loved finding really obscure artists that played a mean guitar and had lyrics that told a story of love, faith and joy. As the songs played I could feel my brother singing these songs. Words that made you want to love more deeply. Guitar notes that felt like your heartbeat. And I realized he sent me things like this all of the time. I don’t think I played them and listened to them like I was now…I don’t think I called him and said, “Keith, I love you and this music reminds me of how amazing you are. Thank you for sharing something that means so much to you. Because you mean so much to me!” OH my, many thoughts of not calling him enough, loving him enough and just talking to him enough. I miss his voice. I miss his love. I miss knowing he is there to call and laugh about something silly in my childhood that only he will remember.

So….the giveaway pile of CDs became so very personal. These gifts that were giving me that deep soul connection with my brother that goes right into the depths of my heart. My heart felt how deep it was on Sunday as these songs played in my house and echoed in my heart. Those deep reminders that if someone is in your heart and you love them like no other….tell them. Call them. Your heart will thank you one day. And oh my goodness, that day is TODAY. Every time you love and connect deeply with someone, it fills your tank...I am convinced. And keeping your tank full will help you face those days when you need it.

So on Monday as I went to work, I thought, "today needs to be a good day." It had not occurred to me that I could still spend a day with my heart weighing me down with sadness like I had spent my Sunday. So Monday my gifts were given to me and I felt my heart be filled with some of that silly “emotional gas” that I soo needed.

A bracelet order from California needed a phone call to clarify some of her designs. Talking with this perfect stranger swept me away to tears. She shared how she was at her daughter’s soccer game and she ran into my friends Dale and Jacque and both of them were wearing bracelets. She asked, “what is the deal with the bracelets?” She said they both spoke with such animation as they shared the story of Healing Knots, and my story, she realized, was part of her story, too.  She left the soccer game with Jacque’s bracelet on her wrist and her heart was touched. It just reminded me that everyone wants to love…and sometimes if you give a bracelet to someone, it can inspire you and help you love in ways you never imagined. One simple bracelet touching someone’s heart. Again, this story will make me pause.

A hand written letter was waiting for me when I got home. My sister-in-law had written me a thank you note. Her words on paper written with her hand straight from her heart. She keeps loving me and thanking me for being in her life!!!  It is a gift that I feel so honored to receive.

An email from a friend in California, Dirt Sister, with a newspaper article. She was featured in her local newspaper and there was a picture of her. Not just her, but so many bracelets on her wrists it was like she was a Healing Knots Covergirl!!! Oh how that picture makes me smile!!! I feel like I have not seen her in years and by knowing that she wears my bracelets, it feels like we are still connected over these years and across the miles.

And I taught a Healing Knots bracelet class and it was one of those days when you could feel every heart in the room connect. Tears filled a couple of the women’s eyes as I shared my story of making bracelets. The room was filled with silence as people carefully picked their beads and made their own special design that told their story. Everyone made a bracelet and you could feel them truly putting their story on their wrists to wear it, live it and heal the pieces that were still vulnerable.  

I drove home from work and felt like I had been given so many gifts of love, joy and celebration. My heart was full and I had a smile on my face. Those cracks that ached so much on Sunday had been filled with love that could help me see that hope does come. It comes on those days that we need it.  It comes from strangers, it comes in letters, it comes in pictures in the paper. It tiptoes into your life when you need it the most.

May today be a day that you feel love pour into your heart. Take a moment….you will find one of those tiny gifts that you need to make it through another day.  May your days be filled with gifts, the really special kind that lodge into the depths of your heart.


Art Lives in the Heart

“Art lives in the heart, and we all have one.” -Julia Cameron, Vein of Gold.

Webster dictionary definition:
Artthe quality, production, expression, or realm of what 
is beautiful or of more than ordinary significance.

When I teach my Healing Knots class I always start by reading the definition of “art.”   

Then I ask everyone if they have any art that they do in their lives…many times people just stare back at me. Sometimes one person might raise their hand and say that they needle point or paint. Then I start opening up the possibilities to include anything that we create…cooking, gardening, decorating.  

"The part of the human imagination producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power."

 I love the fact that we create things for emotional power!!

This takes me to sharing my story about Healing Knots and how having my heart completely broken made me find my art; the miracle that pain can be eased by creating something. Colors, placement, movement…so many ways to heal the heart.  

The quote from Julia Cameron – "Art lives in the heart and we all have one"..is the most wonderful way to share what art is for anyone. What is in our heart? Is there something you can do to express it with the outside world? Does seeing certain colors make you happy? Being outside?  

What do you do in your life that might feel simple to you, but could be shared with others as a form of art?  

In 1998, my friend Rebecca’s mother, Marge Whitehead, gave me this book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. A couple of  years later, another friend that is a photographer in town gave me the same book. When these things happen you know THIS book was meant for you to read… I continue to enjoy this book and the lessons it has to offer. Reading the daily quotes and stories are pure joy!! Her words were so simple and forgiving. They gave you permission to do simple things in your life and make them feel like art. One of the pages was so powerful I even made a copy of it so I could read it often and share it with others that I felt were starting to uncover their “art.”  

I love this one from February 8th  because every year at this time, it comes back into my world and I read it with new gusto!!!

The page begins:
“You Are an Artist”
Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about… Say yes quickly, if you know, if you’ve known it from before the beginning of the universe.  – Jalai ud-Din Rumi

She continues to share more about being an artist, "….each of us is an artist.  An artist is merely someone with good listening skills who accesses the creative energy of the Universe to bring forth something on the material plane that wasn’t here before...So it is with creating an authentic life. With every choice, every day, you are creating a unique work of art. Something that only you can do. Something beautiful and ephemeral. The reason you were born was to leave your own indelible mark on your personal world."

In closing she states – “Each time you experience the new, you become receptive to inspiration. Each time you try something different, you let the Universe know you are listening. Trust your instincts.  Believe your yearnings are blessings.”

Take some time to see what might be your art. It is in your heart waiting to be shared. Know that it will lift your soul to bring this special piece of you to life…go play, paint rocks, plant something, let your heart be free to express what might be inside….anything you do can be art!!!

The world is waiting for you to bring your art to life!


Just Be Yourself!!

Who would guess these simple words could be so powerful? A really good friend of mine is so brave. Her goal is to keep adding to a list of “new things” that she has done in her life. Well, this one was truly exhausting. She has been studying to take a test that would give her a Group Exercise Certification so she can teach her exercise class to Seniors at a local gym. She loves working with the older generation and I love working with the babies…we both have taken yoga together for years and it is always fun to hear what she teaches because it is almost like my Creative Movement classes, only in a chair with Seniors.  

Well, this studying has been taking up her every minute and every day, it seems. It was cold last week and I texted her, “Hey, Trudy, today is a wine and cookies day!!!” She could not even take me up on my absolutely sinful offer. She makes these amazing chocolate cookies that have a touch of salt…and they were the perfect treat to sip a glass of wine with on that wintery day. Nope, she was studying. The test was going to be a daylong event in San Antonio. She was so nervous about the part where you had to teach an aerobic routine. She came over and showed me her many “8 count” moves…oh, it was funny. I kept a serious face because she was truly nervous…so I put on my best “supportive friend face” just trying to tell her she will be fine. I knew she would be.

I texted her on Friday when she was at the class and she told me how nerve-racking it was...I would never have the attention or wherewithal to have done this whole thing…I texted her back…"Just be yourself…you will be great!!"

On Saturday she drove across town to sit in a high school gym to watch my daughter do her first solo dance competition. That is the kind of friend she is!!! As we sat on the hard wood bleachers she started to share her story of how it went…34 people in a room, 2 instructors, lots of talk of muscle groups and exercise moves…and she grabbed her bracelet and said, “I wore my bracelet that you made me with the colored beads…and every time I got nervous, I grabbed it and just said over and over…'Just be yourself!'" Her voice cracked and we both had tears in our eyes. Trudy is smarter, kinder, older and wiser than I am, and who would ever guess she needed to hear those 3 words? You never know when 3 silly words and a bracelet can get you through something that is hard, scary or challenging.

It will continue to touch my heart that day by day, wooden beads with knots can still help when you need them! That there is the power of love in the simple gesture of making something for a friend...and when you cannot be there your love is still present and sometimes that is just what you need.

In six weeks we will know if Trudy passed her test. I am guessing it will be a day with chocolate cookies and wine, with a celebration toast! (and bracelets!!)  

Remember…Just Be Yourself!!


Today Starts a New Month

Today starts a new month.

The second month of the year.

May your February be filled with new ideas, new love, new beginnings!!!

Valentine’s countdown…hearts are everywhere.