On Peace

It’s Sunday morning and I’m outside by a fire in some great midwestern Feb sun, a hoodie and with a jelly jar of 2019 (our engagement year) Washington red wine.

David is walking up with some dry firewood I had stashed in my vintage (2006?) Honda from a workshop I taught back in the fall. I am breathing deep and reflecting – a lot – on Kindness, its relationship to Peace and how often we are required to call these forward because there is more LOVE in our life.

That’s right. I believe as Love increases in your life, there is a shift in how much Peace you experience.

Think about getting a puppy. More Love, less Peace. It makes sense.

Just as I write this, I notice the warm body of my blonde boy dog, Thor. Gorgeous dog, honestly who is now getting pets and ear strokes from David. Also enjoying the casual sunshine on a winter morning, we all know spring is a thing and are happy to see the world turning its way.

I believe as God gives you more Love through people and through dogs, the shift in how much Peace the external world gives you is not to make you question the Love or its meaning but to draw you inward. For what more is the spirit of Peace than the breath? The balance of alternate nostril breathing, the purification of breath of fire, the immediate effects of more oxygen in the brain from simple 3 part or 6 count inhales. I mean. Peace, I think, has always been meant to come from within.

I like to say I don’t know what I am doing with my life and I tend towards the struggle of “what’s the point and purpose” but I know how it feels to stumble upon freeing spiritual perspective and if there is one thing I can offer the world, it would be – at minimum – a sample of the truth in my life that is making navigation easier. Note: It’s not making hard things easier, it’s making the navigation of life easier. Hard things will always be hard.

My reflections this morning started as noticing how self love is God’s love and morphed into how inner peace is God’s Peace. I read Psalm 13 and replaced “Lord” with Peace and broke down the words to feel applicable: “How long, Peace – will you forget me forever? How long will you hide what you look like these days (face) from me?”

What does Peace look like these days?

There is an American Spiritual Song that references Peace “like a river” – Peace as changeable, fluid, evolving. But yet, always in the same direction – always headed for it’s bigger place. Able to carry, able to be explored. Peace can look like anything.

For me, a big part of my spiritual life is noticing how my faith in something bigger than me that gives me purpose requires me to grow and change. I think of the whole process like a plant. A little tender plant brought home from the nursery and how – no matter how long I have been gardening – I always brace myself for that first heavy rain or forceful wind. Astonished the next morning how the plant seems a little stronger because of what it weathered.

Its first full day in blazing sun where it looks parched and in desperate need of water, to then drink and seem to have grown an inch.

What are you taking in? Through your body, your senses, your heart? And how is the heat of it? The force of it? Changing you?

That growth, seems to be, an internal process based on what the plant takes in from the outside.

So what does Peace look like for you today?

And how can you use that breath – that fire – that sunshine – that ease to allow the internal processes to take in the elements of life and transform your heart?

Just keep figuring yourself out, honestly. Is all you can do.

On Growth & Hydration

I just got into bed without a cup of hot water and – though I am so eager for a flow, that inner voice of my body telling me to stick with what I know she needs to sleep well is kindly persistent. brb.

Ok. Back. As your yoga instructor via blog form, let’s all just take this a reminder to close the eyes, inhale and check in with the bod. Responding to requests (for water, for movement, for support, etc) – is an act of building inner trust, self leadership.

Dedicated response to the body is a part of a root of long lasting growth.

And if there is one thing I know about these days, it’s growth and if there is one thing I know about growth, it’s that growth definitely requires the root.

The root of the issue.

The root of who you are.

The root of what you want.

The root of why you want it.

The root. Your roots. Being rooted. Rooting down. Digging up roots.

That’s where I am tonight: digging up roots. Examining some fundamental beliefs about home and self and transplanting them into smaller pots to keep an eye on them for a little bit. I have been observing my interactions with others lately and wanting to reign it in a little bit, be a better listener, not take so much personal offense when people maybe aren’t super interested in my great ideas for their life or when they would rather be alone than with me. These observations are leading me into truths like how trustworthiness starts in trusting yourself.

How trusting yourself starts in listening.

How listening starts with attention. Breathing. Stopping.

I am going to foster some roots of understanding that I think will really help me grow upright and strong. Like my understanding that forgiveness doesn’t require confession and how you can literally live a forgiving lifestyle where you are proactively providing grace for others.

I am learning how that whole removing the splinter in your eye thing actually seems to imply you start paying attention to what it is you notice.

I am noticing how when others seem to be acting out of spite, “trying to teach a lesson” or playing little manipulative games: I should just let them. Play along. Smile and Breathe. And if you hate the game so much, definitely don’t do it yourself.

You know, and trust that if a person really is acting from spite, their own life will show them their spite. Any time I have acted out of spite, it isn’t a person pointing it out that humbles me. I learn from my own undoing. The private moments of realization. The thing I lost because I tried to gain. Realizing this is big time game changer, especially for step parents….

Pay attention to what you notice and start to see your patterns. And then choose differently.

If you are in a cycle with a person, notice when you are about to do something the same way you have always done it and and consider it up for negotiation. If you would normally point it out, don’t. If you would normally state a preference, don’t. If you would normally share how it made you feel, don’t. If you would normally ask how a person is feeling, don’t. If you would normally draw a comparison, don’t. If you would normally (see how I am getting SO much better) give life advice, just definitely freaking don’t.

And enjoy the fact that breaking this system also gives you permission to stop doing the things you thought you had to do. Let the towel stay on the floor. Don’t fuss over the fridge. Take family meals one day at a time. Don’t worry about if one kid eats all the Cheez Its.

(Which also means: Eat all the Cheese Its if you normally would stop so that you did not eat them all.)

Above all, I have learned growth is about responding privately when something is problematic. How?






And remember. The body breathes, the spirit breathes. The mind breathes.

Retreat is found in showers, flowers, museums, writing, prayer, yoga, walking, running.

The body feeds on colors and proteins. The spirit feeds on scripture and song. The mind feeds on ideas and stars.

Touch soothes. Lotion and oils soothe. Humming soothes. Meditation soothes. Staying in the present soothes.

Remembering these things is the root of self control. That listening to the body.

That call and response of the true need of physical comfort and safety as the driving force in your growth.

Oh. And all of this requires water.

Speaking of which I have a half of a mug left and a good night’s sleep to tend to.

This has been a closing moment here on Frozen Spaghetti…

Signing off, the Little Red Zen.

On the Number 4 & the Idea of Budding

Yesterday, I appeared on a local lifestyle tv show, Show Me Saint Louis, to share a vision casting exercise for your emotional well being. It was a little bit round about how the segment came to life, and – on my drive downtown to the station – I found myself reflecting perhaps there is just one person who needs the message I had to give. Just one.

Earlier this week, I got an email from Chloe, the manager of Apple Tree Magic’s self-publishing project, with some pictures of Words that Rhyme & Lullabies on the shelf in their store. Part of the contract I am in with Village Book’s Independent Publishing Program involves consignment and I have been really looking forward to this baby step in the overall coming together of my personal canon. Additionally this week, the distributors finally got the image updated and my initial creative offering to the world is now officially on Amazon and Barnes & Noble for purchase & reviews.

One person who needs the message. One bookstore with the book. No reviews yet, but it is there.

Driving home from the station, it dawned upon me that Apple Tree Magic: the current iteration of my creative, emotional and spiritual life presented to the world – had just peeked into the world and showed a leaf. My friend Milta remarked, “it is like Apple Tree Magic is starting to bud – it’s not the full fruit yet, but the seed that has been planted has taken root and is branching out.”

In the spiritual science of numerology (stick with me here), the energetic understanding or model of the numbers actually follows the pattern of nature as seen in the growth of a fruit tree. 1: seed, 2: root, 3: branch, 4: bud, 5: flower / fruit, 6: the miracle of interaction with flower & fruit (think: honeycombs and you eating an apple), 7: the growth / progress of said miracle of interacting with flower & fruit, 8: the flow that comes (still studying this one), 9: the culmination – the seeds in the fruit that can be planted, 10: 1+0 back to 1 and the cycle of nature repeats.

Apple Tree Magic started as the name of my personal effort to self-publish all of my creative content. I wanted to be an Apple Tree when I was young and now I realized poems and stories were my apples. Yet, then the devotional book wasn’t a book – it was a message, an ongoing living breathing message that is coming out in waves, workshops and television segments. And the message is the foundation of my yoga offerings. AppleTreeMagic.com evolved into the home of Yoga Underground, my original LLC and is showing very early signs of also being experiences and events as my network grows and I meet with creatives in the Webster Arts and Saint Louis community.

Milta’s comment of budding feels so absolutely true. The full fruit and function, the ongoing flow of the exchange & miracle, that is not in full flight. Yet, the simple root that came from the seed of “emotional & spiritual resourcefulness” has a sleek, slender branch that has Village Books (Fairhaven, WA), Urban Breath Yoga (Maplewood, MO), Joy of Yoga (Rock Hill, MO), Show Me Saint Louis (Saint Louis, MO), and Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Ingramspark… It’s a young branch but, doesn’t it seem quite mighty??

And the Webster Arts Community and Novel Neighbor branch – I can see it as new! I know my next projects, I am SO excited about what is coming and – well – I suppose I am quite fascinated by how when you are starting something, and rooting down, it’s dark and seems uneventful. That’s certainly how the last two years of creating and soft launching two written works has felt.

But now that I have a branch with a few buds and an emerging second branch, it’s not that I am not still rooting as the roots continue to expand and grow as I continue to branch out and bud… hopefully bearing fruit. What I am marveling at, however, is how rooting isn’t the only thing I am doing anymore. It’s happening but now as a silent underlying function of the magic. It’s happening in the prayer & meditation and the intentional alignment to values (use emotions as resources) and priorities (gratitude to something bigger than you first, always).

It’s a seek out the sun, dance in the rain kind of thing. So maybe – to spin this back to you – what are you conscious of in your waking life and how is it feeding your roots? And, here’s where the whole point of sharing about the number pattern comes in. 4 (budding) is symbolic of a square (4 corners) and presents this idea of how, in the discernment process, you typically have Choice A and Choice B and each of those typically have one main pro and one main con. (4 all together) And the idea with 4 is that you can’t be wrong when choosing in alignment with your values. 4 is full trust that choosing in alignment with the values, even if you stumble, will teach you what you need to know.

And the choice represents what kind of tree you are, the leaf denotes the lineage, (just like how you can identify plant species from their leaves and early markings). The choice, like the leaves & markings, presents you into the world not as the full fruit and opportunity for exchange BUT as the living breathing representation of the values & priorities. From there, you see, you and the elements meet and nurture your growth.

I get a lot out of considering different parts of my life in this particular model of thinking. Maybe that was enjoyable for you, as well.

Ok! Thanks for letting me share on the buds this week. Thank you, as always for your support. If you don’t mind doing the whole liking my Facebook thing, I would love it.

PS: I am considering the stepmom dialogue is going to end up in a group under Apple Tree Magic. If you’re on FB (ahem, UK friends), find me!

Here’s Apple Tree Magic’s on air debut!