Spring – New Growth and New Ideas!!!

Oh, Spring Break is one of those amazing gifts. My poor husband went to school in a tiny town in Illinois called Staunton…he claims that he never had Spring Break when he was growing up. Honestly, that is almost a form of abuse if you ask me. In Alabama they called AEA. I believe it stood for Alabama Education Association and we were given that magical March week break while the poor teachers had to go to some continuing education conference. Chances are they were thrilled to get a break from the students so it was even a treat for them.

Well, today is so special because my preschool job honors that fabulous spring break week and the teachers get the week off just like the students…when I woke up at 5:30am to go meet my faithful neighbor to run, it was raining…I took the liberty to crawl back under the covers and declare it a holiday. Luckily, the morning became sunny…and I snuck out for a run in the daylight hours!!!

I felt like I was on a magical journey in a faraway place…the sunlight was warming my face, the birds were chirping and every few feet I was hit with a new smell of spring. The beautiful purple flowers that when I passed them filled the air with a sweet perfume of new growth, the sweet smells that were like a puff of delight that did not even give you a warning. How can we ever deny that Spring is a time for new growth, hope and re-birth? The air is warm and the colors are popping. This has to be something that is happening inside of us as we shed our sweaters and coats and start to let the sunlight touch our skin again.

Just when I thought this was my gift of Spring and the best way I could have spent my morning, I looked down and saw one of my running gifts. I have this little mission that when I am running, I gather any screw or nail that I see in the road. Trust me, we have had our share of flat tires and I pretend that I am saving some person from that dreaded moment of a flat on the side of the road…
I have such a collection of random nails, screws and small sharp metal items.

So on this day, my mission was being fulfilled and it carried a message that I was so needing… The Nail….I saw it and thought, “there you go…this one is for Emily and she is going to nail it!!!” Then about one step further I found another one….Oh, my…this one is for me and I am going to NAIL IT, TOO!!! I had been carrying Emily in my heart as she interviewed for a new job this week and not knowing what words would help her feel comfort…nothing like a rusty nail in the gutter!!! And, I too, have been in hot pursuit of a new opportunity and how in the world could I find another nail…a little older, a little taller, just like our story!!! So I picked them up and carried them home. I love it when life gives you the props to tell your story and put a smile on your face.

SO….if you are pondering a change, new idea or just want to feel a message of hope and renewal, my advice….head outside!!!! The smells, the colors, the sunlight will wash over you and bring you comfort and a burst of spring. And, who knows what new growth or ideas you might stumble upon. 
Go celebrate the gift of Spring!!! It is outside waiting for you….


Lightness Through the Dark

Today I am wearing a new color design...it is the chocolate beads with the chardonnay elastic. As you can see it is plain and simple. The cord is light, the beads are dark…"Lightness through the Dark!!!"

That is what I will be wearing this week and maybe for the next few weeks. It is one of those chapters in my life where something is really hard and who knows how we will get to the other side. 

But we will!!! 

And for me to see this bracelet on my wrist, I can keep the faith, cheer for hope and know that we will get to the other side of this and learn what we must.

So, if you are facing a time filled with big life challenges,
if your heart is heavy with worry or deep concern for a loved one,
if you need one more reminder that you will get through a hard time...

I recommend anything that can show you that you must keep carrying the "light," especially when times feel dark!!!

Love to all of you and may your week be one that is filled with love, support and small miracles.



Today I woke up and realized I had dreamed about my friend that is currently battling cancer that is in her brain. 

My dream was filled with joy and hope. The two of us were just laughing and talking. She was sitting on the floor with me and her body was healthy and full of energy. She was sitting cross-legged and then ran across the room doing the most beautiful leaps. She was a dancer in high school and in the dream she was leaping to show me what she used to do. 

Oh, this was how I woke up.  Remembering my friend healthy and strong. She is still really strong and she keeps pushing forward with more surgeries, radiation, physical therapy. Her faith and courage to fight this challenge are both keeping her going. This dream made me feel that she is going to win this battle. This dream gave me hope that she will dance again…

How dreams come to us and what they leave us with is one of those heart messages. Sometimes they sit in our memory and really go with us as we face our day. This dream will be with me for the days and months to come. My friend will dance and leap again!

What are your dreams? Keep dreaming….they might come true!



Dear Healing Knots friends,

Today a friend of mine sent me a text that has so much inspiration. She had a bad Friday with some job news that came as a surprise and her position must change…Tears as she drove home from work last night…and then, a new day today!!

She wrote me…"I can be sad, or I can accept the things that are out of my hands, wrap myself in bracelets, and just keep going. The sun is out so no more crying for me!!!"

OH. Words for all of us.

Acceptance, Courage and Sunshine!!!

Go out and face this day!

Don’t forget your bracelets.


Anne Morrow Lindbergh

"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable."

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Keep Going

My Saturday started with a walk on the beach. Galveston, Texas to be exact. I arrived by way of Houston knowing that my heart and soul needed to get to the beach. When my life has those bumps in the road, when something changes and you need to make a new plan, and even when life is just going along in the predictable fashion…I am one of those people that needs to get to the coast. The wind in your hair, the salty smell of the ocean, the breeze blowing, the water just washing up on the shore. All of this can help me take a breath and see what I am really supposed to be doing and focusing on in the next chapter of my life. SO when my trip to Houston was being planned...it became the natural excuse to get to the coast.

Saturday morning I rolled out of bed and I knew my first mission was to get to the beach and walk. I just knew there was a message for me to hear. Just the solitude of walking on the beach in the morning can help quiet all of the daily chatter and thoughts that cloud our brains. The sky was cloudy, the birds were flying and the beach was empty. This time of year provides a bounty of amazing shells on the beach, so few people out to pick up the treasures that the ocean delivers. As I walked I kept finding that special shell that was speaking to me…simple round with bursts of color.  It was not my intention to gather shells today...my goal was to be quiet and see if I could hear a message from the sea.  

Walking the beach is the most amazing treasure hunt. So many little pieces of wood that I could imagine painting, those shells that kept catching my eyes. I kept filling the little pouch on the front of my sweatshirt, trying to tell myself to look up, look out at the horizon…what is there? I walk and walk. Not knowing how far to go or when to turn around. I have no schedule today. I am visiting Sandie and I told her I am just going to stay outside all day today. 

So I keep walking. The birds are so fascinating. Their tiny little legs moving so fast when they chase the tide as it washes up on the sand. The beach keeps going and the gifts keep coming. There is a house under construction and the workers are pounding away as they build a new magical place for someone to come capture the life on the coast. As I walk, there is an echo of the pounding of nails into the wood. It keeps echoing in my ears and then the message begins to sing to the beat of that musical message. The message is, “Keep Going!”

That is it. That is what I have been feeling, hearing and doing. Now I have the words to go with my song; the lyrics to play to my new chapter of life. This is not even new to me. This has been coming to me when I am in pain and feel paralyzed. I have just not put words into place. Keep Going. This is what happened after I lost my brother. I could hear him whispering to me, "Corinne, Keep going to see my children. Go to Asheville. Pieces of me are there." So that is what my daughter and I did. Every month, or every few weeks that we could, we hopped on a plane and went to Asheville. It was haunting for me to make this trip and know that my brother would not be there to greet me at the airport. I was so scared that I would crumble in the airport. That my legs would literally not be able to hold me up.  But, instead, every time I looked into the sea of people greeting me in Asheville, I would see Chris, Keith’s wife. She would be wearing Healing Knots on both wrists, she would run towards me and we would embrace. And this hug would start to fill me up. It would fill me with love, understanding, pain, agony, and actually hope. We were both just barely standing but we could make it through another visit and love these gorgeous children. And that is what we did. Even when we had no idea how to do it, we just simply…Kept Going.

And, I think of so many times in my life that I have just whispered quietly to myself… Keep Going. When parenting is hard and you think you are done. When children getting older does not always mean that your job as a parent gets easier. There is one thing that still works…just tell yourself, Keep Going.

The Healing Knots journey is one of those amazing gifts. I sometimes try to analyze and define it. I fret that Emily is done with me. I wonder if I will be tired of wooden beads and knots…and I wake up and I think of another design. Someone from a place I have never heard of orders a bracelet. A friend texts me a picture of her bracelet and thanks me again for making a bracelet that is holding her wish. And I get invited to meet people doing great things in the world that want to learn about a Healing Knots class. So, I realize that the only thing to do is Keep Going.

When you think it is time to leave a job and you know it is time to go. You are searching for that next opportunity and challenge that you are ready to face. The resume goes out, the emails are sent, and there is silence…You keep showing up to the same job you have been going to, feeling you have outgrown your responsibilities there….but, you must Just Keep Going!

My friend Leslie is fighting that horrible Cancer that has invaded her brain. She is still in the hospital. It is so hard to watch my friend like this. I am not sure if she even knows who I am. I barely know what to say to try to make her smile. This could be any of us, it is painful, but, she doesn’t want to be there either! So, I just Keep Going to see her.

I feel useless for my daughter, she has a challenging French class that she just cannot master. My 1980’s Alabama high school French just does not compare and I am no help. I ask the teacher for tutor ideas and no response. I finally google, “a French tutor in Austin.” We start driving and realize she is on the other side of town. I question if this is crazy and not the way to spend a Sunday. She opens the door to greet us and she is perfectly French and charming. Hallie makes a 92 on the French quiz the next week. SOOO, we will Keep Going!

Oh, this is why I came here. I drove to Houston….and as I was on the road, I could not go home. The coast was only an hour away. I am so happy I listened and decided to “Just Keep Going!!”

I will keep practicing this when I get lost and want to turn around. When life gets hard and I don’t understand why something is happening like it is. Because, sometimes the answers are not obvious.  The rewards are not visible. We are given so many opportunities to learn new lessons…and sometimes the only way to get there is to Just Keep Going.


Reaching Out to Hold Someone's Hand

It is a crazy thing that we all live so far away from each other. My high school friends all live in different states, my family is located from coast to coast. Two of my children are now 8 hours away. I do remember when I was graduating from high school, all I could think of was where is my next place to go? What state can I live in next? I so understand the need to go new places and see new things.  

But, now that I have gotten older and look back at the friendships and relationships that are still deeply rooted in my heart, it is those friends that knew me in middle school, high school and those crazy fun college friendships. So….we email, call, text and of course, I send them bracelets. Today as I pondered how my week went, I realized that so many people reached out. Stories of loss, stories of birthdays of a loved one that are gone, wanting to be there for a friend, and I realized…this is where sending a bracelet feels like you are holding someone’s hand when you cannot. Having something physical to hold on to to remember that someone loves you and is there for you, even if they are miles away.

My faithful friend, Eileen, that wakes up every morning and meets me at her mailbox, lost a precious uncle this week. She is a rock and is going to take her mother up to New York to attend the funeral. This was the uncle that everyone felt like was their own grandfather; this was her mother’s brother that really was the “glue” for the family. This will be the moment when everyone comes together to truly miss a very special person that had really loved, not only his own family, but every member of the family tree. Of course, as we finished our run on Friday, I wished her luck on her journey to New York. What a heavy and sad trip it would be for her. What a precious daughter to be escorting her mother so she can go and not be overwhelmed by the details of this trip. 

It will come as no surprise that I felt overwhelmed with the desire to make bracelets for her to take with her. Eileen has been one of the very first people to know about my new hobby and passion  of “tying knots” and making them into bracelets. She has listened to every little detail of this magical journey. She is patient and interested at all times. How she does it I will never know. One of my favorite things is when I see someone that knows Eileen and they always tell me, “Oh, I saw Eileen and she had on one of your bracelets.” Eileen and I never see each other during the day...only in the dark in our sweaty running clothes. So when I get these reports of her actually wearing the bracelets, it makes me smile. I never know if she is just letting me do my usual ramblings or if she really gets it…and she really gets it.

Still, she did not ask for bracelets, I had to make them anyway. I made 4 bracelets. Each bracelet has 68 beads. That is how old her uncle was when he took his last breath. It had nine beads of one color in a row. This symbolized the family that he left behind and loved so much. His wife, two daughters and five grandchildren. I kept sending Eileen pictures and she kept thanking me. I thought maybe his wife, daughters and Eileen’s mother might want to carry his story on their wrists.to remember that he is always with them and that the love he shared with his family will always be with his family.

I dropped the little brown bag in her mailbox Friday night, knowing it made me feel good to give her my gesture of love. It will be interesting to hear how her trip goes. Maybe the bracelets will stay in the bag and it won’t be the right thing to give them away. Maybe what we wear in Texas is not quite the same for the people in Staten Island. It is okay. There was something about tying those knots for my friend that made me feel like I could hold her hand during this trip...that I could put a blanket around her heart to make the sadness melt away. We do the silliest things to try to love each other when words are not enough. Eileen has been there for me morning after morning, and I just want to be there for her.

Having an amazing uncle to love is one of those beautiful miracles, and losing that person makes you realize how precious our family ties really are. I, too, have an uncle that is the glue for my family and for me. Maybe today I need to call him, write him a letter, make him a bracelet. Maybe I need to thank him for taking time out of his life to love me. Maybe that is all we ever need to really do. Appreciate those that are in our hearts….and take a moment to let them know. We are so very busy, but what is in your heart and who put it there?? Maybe today is the day to stop and tell them.  With a call, with a flower, with one still moment and two precious words…"Thank You!"

To all of you…Thank You! Have a beautiful week.