This Homemaker’s Fried Day Prayer – Opening Hear post #6


Opening Hear

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts,
unlocking them in the process.


Today is Fried Day. The end of the work week for so many. The beginning for some. Either way, I am thinking of all of those who have a J O B, I mean, the paying kind, with taxes taken out, etc. etc. I remember what this was like. Counting the moments until I was released into the wider world, free from The Boss and The Coworkers – however much I may have loved them, at times.

Now, as a Homemaker, I am tied to my Boss at all times. I am yoked to my co-workers eternally. I no longer get weekends off. And, I’m learning to love it. The perpetual vigilance required of a Householder is the same as in any consciousness disciple. As above so below – As in the home, so it is in the wider world. I am grateful today to be intimately connected to my family, the world, the universe, and all connections therein. Amen.

Losing Time – Open Hear post #5

“When the heart weeps for what it has lost,
the spirit laughs for what it has found.”

      Sufi proverb

I’ve lost hours with my son.  When he is with his father, my ex-husband, I lose hours.  I’ll never get them back.  This is not a unique phenomenon.  Fathers and Mothers alike experience it. It is through this thick coating of a sense of lost time, that I heard my son say tonight, “I don’t want to go on vacation with you guys this year”.  We had just finished telling him that we started to look at cool things to do in the places we’re going to visit.

He had been grumpy for a little while and when this finally came out I was overcome with emotion. I didn’t know what to say.  Tears welled up in his eyes and I could tell that it was hard for him to tell us this. I tried to be compassionate.  I told him it was ok, and hugged him.  But as he started to talk some more, he expressed feelings of wanting to be with his dad and not us. I could sense the conflict inside of him.  Having to choose between two people you love can be very difficult.

The loss for me came when I realized he simply didn’t want to be with me, his step-dad, and his brother on vacation.  That I would lose more time with him.  He starts middle school in the Fall. He wants a cell phone and we won’t get him one yet.  He’s growing up and trying to differentiate himself.  Yeah, well, it still makes me feel like I failed. No amusement park, no cool place can hold a candle to spending time with someone you love and want to be around.  I can’t deny him that.  So. There you go.

So, if I follow the quote at the beginning of this post out to the end, I have to dig a little to see what the hell spirit might be laughing at.  Come to find out, there are positives to be found.  No one will endlessly ask “how much farther” on vacation (because the 15 month old can’t talk yet).  I won’t have to hear how bored someone is (same reason). Airfare fares for three people are cheaper than for four.

And, so I guess spirit has found a space. Maybe a space for me to differentiate a few parts of my own self. A space between me and son, whom I have tried to help cleave from me, in a healthy and natural way. I weep for the loss of time, but laugh for the space I find, after helping a part of my self push off from shore.

Open Hear Post #4 – A lesson in Fearlessness

Opening Hear

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts… unlocking them in the process.

“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness.
It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart.
You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world.
You are willing to share your heart with others.”

Chogyam Trungpa Tibetan Buddhist, Scholar and Artist

In a moment our relationship changed.
I chose to be real with him. I told him why I was crying and his big, beautiful, sensitive heart opened right up to me.

My usual MO is to get angry. To take it out on them, my loved ones. This time, rather than try to hide my tears or make him wrong for wanting me to watch a video about dirtbikes, while Ben was making SO MUCH noise and it had been such a long day of trying to keep it all together, much like any day, and I JUST WANTED TO FINISH THIS ONE….DAMN…..PARAGRAPH that I was reading,  I owned it.

I found the source of my discomfort and I spilled it out. I gave him an honest picture of what was happening with me, right then, rather than covering it in all the ways that I’m so good at.  And I broke down.  I wept and kept weeping for a couple of minutes and he asked what was wrong at least twice.  As I finally caught my breath I said,”Sometimes I would like to work on some artwork, or reading or just be creative – and there are so many demands and distractions that I hardly every allow myself to do it”

He really heard me.

Later that night I went to veg out in front of the TV with him.  He grabbed two pieces of blank paper, two pencils,  and two big sturdy books and sat down by me on the couch.  He invited me to draw with him. He drew, I started writing this.  We talked about how sometimes watching TV helped drown out the mental background noise and helped him draw better. I told him I used music for this. We talked about how girls at school were being “all dramatic about boys and love and stuff”.  I suggested he ignore the drama as best he could.

I also thanked him to being so kind to me, for understanding about how my heart needs art and expression.  He must know this because He has it inside of himself too. I am so blessed.



‘If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of
the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to
break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold
ever-more wonders.”
—Andrew Harvey, *The Return of the Mother*

Through all the hours of watching Japan’s tragedy unfold, I have found it so essential to stay close to the realization that only the most important things are truly important.  Love, family, friends, honesty, clean water, air, land and food.  Everything else tends to be an abstraction. I hope this finds you, the reader, closer to your own deep realizations, with the courage to stay true to them.  I hope this for all of humanity.

Open Hear post #3

Opening Hear#3

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts… unlocking them in the process.

Yes! Magazine’s  Winter 2011 edition has wonderful articles based around “What Happy Families Know“.  I encourage anyone who hasn’t read Yes! Magazine in a while, or ever, to pick up a copy – or a subscription – or go to the library on a quarterly basis, to soak up it’s positivity and wisdom.  I have never been disappointed with the content.  As a matter of fact you’ll probably hear me talk about it quite a bit as time goes on.

My favorite story, “You Are Who You Eat With” by Katherine Gustafson has this quote: “When food advocate and chef Tom French asked a student how she felt after his organization, the Experience Food Project, began replacing the bland, processed food in her school cafeteria with fresh, healthy school lunches, he received an unexpected answer. “She gave it some serious thought,” he told me over the phone. “Then she said, ‘you know, I feel respected.’”

Family dinner photo by Patrick Barber
Food, and what we do to it – growing it, transporting it,
cooking, and serving it can make us feel respected, or not.

Great-full and Opening Hear

I woke this morning and read a few of the blogs I follow.

I was shaken to the core by reading this post from Karen Maezen Miller’s Cheerio Road.

She talks about a woman who emailed her about her husband finding out he has leukemia. This woman, Rose, has two sons, as I do.  Her posts can be read here. Her real and eloquent words made MANY tears come from me this morning.  When I get whiny or otherwise sink in a negative mood,  I’ll read Rose’s posts.  I’ve been getting so many reminders lately about the fact that I need to stay in gratefulness.  I do not have a husband that is being treated for cancer.  I have healthy boys.  I am healthy. My daily worries are small compared to what so many others have to deal with. I have so many many things to focus my attention on that I am grateful for.

My mother once told me, after she had died during a drug overdose, that when she “woke up” she was amazed at how close death is to us all. She likened it to a veil, so thin that we can barely realize how thin it is. “Death is with us ALL, all the time,” she said. I feel it closer to me today.  I also have held my loved ones closer today having realized, again, the singular chance we get, each day to Love.

Open Hear post #2

Opening Hear – inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts, unlocking them in the process.

Here is a quote that upon first glance may not scream “open your heart!”
but, for me, I need my feet on the ground so my heart can soar!

“Be regular and orderly in your life,
so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
– Gustave Flaubert

I found this quote on this blog.