Beyond All Ideas

“One of the most commonly overlooked spiritual practices is daring to be completely honest with everyone you encounter. Some may say others cannot handle their honesty, but true honesty is not a strategy or a weapon of any kind. 
It is the willingness to be open and absolutely transparent in sharing how any moment feels in your heart. It has nothing to do with confrontation, accusation, or any form of blame. True honesty is the willingness to stand completely exposed, allowing the world to do what it may, and say what it will, only so you may know who you are – beyond all ideas. 
Matt Kahn

These words are profoundly wise and I love how they encourage us to speak and act in love, choosing words and actions that will do no harm BOTH to ourselves and to those with whom we interact.

To connect with another in that single moment, not solely to reveal ourselves to them, but even more, to awaken to our seeing ourselves anew…

This is the ultimate expression of being Present. It first takes awareness to realize we have been gifted with the opportunity to share Who We Are…

And then it takes courage to seize that only precious chance and go with it….

To see Who appears.

If we are able for even a moment to release our fear of being judged or rejected or misunderstood, we come to realize that it was not just about fearing what another’s response would be…

It was more so about coming face to face with our own judgement, our own rejection and our own misunderstanding…


When all is said and done, it is almost always ultimately never about the other person…

It is about you.

What you are seeing outside you…?

What is affecting you…?

Is sourced within you.




“Why would I ever choose to share honestly how my heart is feeling in any moment? That’s just too much risk and I don’t want to be hurt.”

But what is really my purpose in such sharing?

Am I seeking acceptance?

Reciprocal love?


Are these really the best reasons for me to reveal deeper pieces of myself?

Or is there a more transformative motive I could choose?

If I could shift my intention instead…to seeking to learn something more of my hidden self…

Some new strength

Some new talent

Some new thought waiting to step onto the stage….

Could I simply be curious about Who might show up, if given this chance….?

If I refrained a bit more from my tendency to place so much importance on the capricious responses of other people, other situations…and rather allowed Myself to stand in instead as the one to be accepted, loved and appreciated…BY ME…

What sort of results might I see then?


Pause once more.

Imagine just one thing about yourself that you will reveal today…some piece of yourself you have been avoiding…or maybe not quite being fully transparent about.

Imagine yourself being just a little more open, as you step out from behind that cloak of fear that accompanies this. You turn to see that fear…and you notice that you are separate. You are no longer connected…you are free.

Imagine the words or actions you will choose that show your deep intention…that you will neither harm yourself or another.

Notice how this experience is feeling in your body…and where you are feeling it. Breathe there.

Notice how your mind is responding?

“Shall I

Fight, flight, freeze?!

Or breathe once again and stay a moment more with my avoidance.”

Notice now what your heart is trying to say…

To your choice to be (as Kahn states) :

“Who You Are – beyond all ideas”?

Notice what happens…

When you finally go “beyond all ideas”

And create in your own life…

What you have imagined first in your heart?

En-Lightened Vessels

“In the process of letting go, you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.”

Deepak Chopra

Which do I desire more:

To maintain the “knowns” of my Past memories…

Or to uncover what is “yet to be known” of my Undiscovered Self?

The former is stasis.

The latter is change.

The one harbors energy.

The other releases it.

The first commits to carrying everything and is chained to the ground…

The second soars above, free.


Pause and consider:

What if our “Loss”…

Is actually “Gain”?

Could this be?

If the root of my desires is truly to bring Change into my life…

Into my world…

Then my path for each (and yes, every!) decision I make is to relinquish what has gone before


Without exception…


So I may make room within…

So I may create a spacious spirit.

So I may



Who I Truly Am.


Tao Te Ching 4 speaks of the utility of an empty vessel.

It is only useful in its inner space…in its emptiness.

Fill it once

Leave it so…and it will never be filled again.

But empty it?

Now it is ready to be filled anew.


We were never created to “hold” things over time.

We were created to be filled and then to pour out

Over and over.

We are Beings of Light (radiance)

And we are Light Beings (weightless).

We are intended to be Emptying Vessels that pour light everywhere…

Remaining ever expectant to be refilled and emptied

Once again.



Close your eyes.

Breathe deeply.


Select one thought or emotion that is filling you…

That may be keeping you from being refilled.





Pouring this out.

Feel the Vessel that is Your Soul

Becoming a little lighter.

Breathe again.


Notice where within you that this lightness is showing up.



Allow gratitude for that lightness to fill the space you have just created.


Pour again.



See if you can use this imagery two more times today, noting how it feels each time

Within mind, body or spirit.



I Pause to choose thoughts and actions that create radiance and weightlessness in my life.

My gratitude is the source of my lightness.

I am pouring out now.

I am empty again.

I am ready to be filled.

I am honoring Who I Am.

The Soil of Now

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all that you ever have.

Make the Now the primary focus of your life.”

Eckhart Tolle

What happens when I am feeling out of control? When I feel I am being pummeled by life and believe I cannot take it? When I feel I cannot “do it all”, “be it all”, “stand any more”?

Sometimes just “being” with our feelings, thoughts, circumstances is so overwhelming and we will seek any way to escape…and there are myriad ways to do so.

But if we look more closely, we will find that we evade the “fight” and take “flight” by either returning to dwell in our Past or scurrying forward towards our Future…

And then we often find ourselves staying there overlong.

But Past and Future are “not Here” and so in a sense, they are “not Real”.

We may touch upon them…

But we really aren’t welcome to “stay” there because our souls were never intended to thrive there.

For Souls grow best in the Soil of Now.


“Living” in the Past fills us with wishes to:

~Change it because we regret it

(Does regret change the Past? No, but it can be used to implement change right now.)

~Push it away because we resent it

(Does resentment change what what was done? No, but it can be regarded and molded into something positive Now.)

~Immerse ourselves because we “deserve to be punished”

(Does self-recrimination change what occurred? No, but it can help us learn to look for the “Why’s” behind such thoughts and feelings so we may begin to heal Now.)

~Hold it tightly because we cherish it.

(Holding a lovely memory allows us to relive what nurtured us. Keep it too long tho, and a sadness may appear. But to feel briefly, breathe and then release? We then receive the beautiful gifts from our past to brighten our Now for a moment or two.)

“Living” in the Future fills us with:

~Fear and anxiety over what could be…”What If?!”

(Can such thoughts really change what will be?)

~Anticipation over an expectation of a positive outcome

(Does this bring about the positive outcome? Sometimes not…and we have all known disappointments when we have grasped an expectation too tightly. But the energy of expectation and hope can be enjoyed as it touches our heart for a few breaths before we free it to move on.)


The point here is not to say “NEVER visit either place.”

It is rather to say,

“Be watchful over how MUCH time you spend there.”

Balance is key.

“Living” in either place is not Reality. In both places…

We find ourselves, on some deeper levels, lost and ill at ease.

This is because we are…

Living where we are not intended to live.

This is because Past and Future are actually inaccessible:

We have no control over either because we are truly incompatible with LIVING there. We can’t actually DO anything while there.


The Present IS, as Tolle so wisely states “all that you ever have.”

And yet we squander this gift over and over as we run frantically back and forth between Past and Present.

So just how much time do we spend in Now?

What are we doing right now…

With our own Now?

It is only Here Now that our opportunity for any control exists.

And also be aware: this is only regarding OUR OWN control…not anyone else’s. I am in charge of me…

And you, of you.

Him, of himself.

Them, of themselves.

Once we realize that all change in our lives can ONLY be created in our own Present Moment…

This then becomes the exact point in time we are freed.


The Past can be visited, yes.

The Future can be planned, of course.

But they are not where we are created to dwell…to LIVE…

And as for all that we carry that does not serve us?

Look closely and we can see that it is either sourced from our being mired in the Past or perhaps by our being hypnotized as we gaze at a shimmering, shifting Future.

Our Present, though…

Feels light.

Shines as light.

It is…




Ever accessible.



Ask yourself right now:

WHERE am I “Living”…right now?

How much time is spent in my Now vs. Past or Future?

Do I need to change my mind about the length of my stays?

Look more closely at Why I stay?

Uncover what it is I am avoiding about Now because it is too hard to BE with…and decide to be with, and breathe with it, for just a few moments in spite of how I feel about it?


Just Pausing to be curious brings you into your own unique Present.

So now…

Ask your newly unfettered self…

“What Seed Thought will I plant in the Soil of MY Gift of Now?”

Then take your Seed Thought,

Move lightly

One step

Towards that image of Planting and Growing.,,

Creating a beauty that was not there before.

See the new image in all its color?

This is You.




Welcome back.

What To Carry?

“Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future.”

Daphne Rose Kingma

As I Pause to step away and regard a thought, belief, emotion…or any experience…

I become Present.

And becoming Present I am then empowered to ask myself whether what I am going through is Past-based or Future-based.

If I find myself returning over and over to my Past, this means there is still more for me to lay down. When I no longer feel the need to go there, I have finally distilled the lesson that I truly need in order to move forward.

Once I have looked at what my Past can teach me, this allows my thoughts, beliefs and emotions to transform myself in this very moment: THIS “piece of light” I can carry into my future.

And this is all I was ever created to carry.




All else is extraneous…

And was never intended for me to maintain as my constant companion.

So…what I carry forward can only be that which enlightens, strengthens, empowers and encourages.

This even brings compassion externally, to all with whom I interact.

All else is dross…and so it is truly self-compassion to leave such detrimental elements

In my Past.

Without me.

I am not needed there any longer.


So there is a portion we let go of as well as a portion to carry forward. I must be intent upon watching for what serves and what does not…lightly holding the former…releasing the latter.

In a sense, then, I am allowed to “hold on”…but it must always fit the criteria of compassion and gratitude and love. If it does not, it MUST remain behind…for it is only burden, sickness and poison for my soul.

Once I have laid down what is no longer needed, I am completing the act of claiming my Future…

And my soul, my True Self, can walk forward truly unfettered and completely free.


Pause a moment.

Notice if you find yourself still dragging around ANY pieces of your Past, whether small or large that feel within you like heavy weights, pointed daggers, burning embers, raging fires…or perhaps there is numbness and distance hiding there.


Acknowledge that your heart, mind and body are messaging you…

Pleading with you…

To leave these elements in the Past.

Decide to relinquish these


See yourself laying them down.

For, did you know? They were never yours to keep.

They are not You…

Because they do not serve.

Ask within:

“What best serves my heart, mind, body and soul to take with me?”

Then choose to walk away with that alone…

If anything at all.

Take your first step

Embracing Curiosity.

You are now



A more complete version of You.

YOU have just recreated

Your Future.

CC’s: What We See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

Henry David Thoreau

A faithful reader here on Power In Pause commented on how simply getting caught up in his day to day life was one way he could lose track of the meaning of what life was actually presenting. I know we all can relate to this…Life happens and all of a sudden, we finally stop and say,

“How did I get HERE?!?!”

(Notice we have to “stop” before we can notice!)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “come back to the surface” and started attending to what’s going on around me, usually realizing I had missed out on a lot! This brought me to the question:

What concrete action can I take to help myself practice a more “Here, Now” mindset?

The Thoreau quote above has always been a favorite of mine because it gets right to the crux of our issue with Presence:

Whatever we attend to…is what we are choosing for our Reality in that moment: ultimately, whatever we notice IS our choice about what we are experiencing.

We are SEEING whatever we are looking for, “good”, “bad” or “neutral”.

We exclude other things that may be present and select what we want to see…

And usually take our next step based on that choice.

And this is why the Power that is in Pausing is so crucial:

Whenever we actually “come to the surface”, noting what we are experiencing (whether physically, mentally or emotionally)…this is our moment of Pause.

We are enabled to take in more: our blinders are off for a moment.

So our Pause is the perfect place to check back in and reassess how we’re choosing to live our lives.

But…just how can we get there more frequently?


One of my most successful actions regarding practicing mindfulness is to set an intention for the day…and I do this BEFORE I get out of bed in the morning, as it is freshest in my mind and more likely to have the strongest impact…plus it is usually the only part of my day that I can count on where I am not needed for something else! However, if morning isn’t suitable, you would choose another short space of quiet time that works for you…but you must be free to concentrate uninterrupted…

And of course, committing to be consistent is key as well.

So, shortly after I wake, I mentally scan my schedule for that day, imagining what circumstances (visual, aural, tactile…even tastes/smells) I would most likely encounter frequently. These experiences I call Common Catalysts (CC’s). Then I use one or more of these CC’s as the trigger to Pause for one deep breath. And with that single breath, I am immediately pulled back into my body and more deeply aware what I am actually doing and what is happening around me.

Some examples:

If I am running lots of errands, a CC could be each time I open the car door (Pause)…or walking through a door into a store (Breathe)…standing in line (Pause)…pulling money out of my wallet (Breathe)

If I am drawing, it would be the act of picking up my sketch pen (Pause/Breathe)…or putting it down. (Pause/Breathe)

If I plan to read a book, the turning of each page. (Pause/Breathe)

If I’m playing a round of golf, it could be the feel of each new grip of the next club I choose…or maybe the act of approaching each new tee box. (Pause/Breathe)

Perhaps it’s each time I wash my hands…(Breathe).

Oh and here’s one CC that will ALWAYS bring me back often:

Every time I pick up my phone!

(Ever notice how frighteningly integrated your phone is in your daily life?!)

For a challenge: try to go ten minutes without even THINKING of interacting with your phone and notice how often you are just thinking of it, not to mention actually using it.

Mind blowing to the max.


So your Common Catalyst can be anything concrete that you know will be coming up frequently in that particular day. You are essentially setting up subsequent Pauses by taking one Pause in the morning to set your intention to “watch out” for your CC’s.

By visualizing myself going through these CC events BEFORE they take place, their appearance “wakes me up” to the moment because I am, in a sense, returning once again to the Present to notice them.

Another help:

Jotting your CC’s down in your phone or on paper can also be extra reinforcement, using your visual and tactile senses…and then plan to check in later in your day to return to that list to see what CC’s you’ve utilized, as well as being reminded of ones you may have left out.

You can see how this type of practice might snowball into a well-established habit:

If I am attending to such “small” things as opening car doors, turning pages or picking up my phone…

How much easier will it be to notice the larger events that show up during my day?

The whole point is to improve the frequency of my return to the Present.

It’s not about being Perfect

It’s about PRACTICING. Practicing Presence…

That idea of “the journey, not the destination” that we so often hear of.

And EVERYONE is capable of practicing…

No Perfection necessary!


Thoreau hit it spot on:

The choice of focus ALWAYS dictates your OWN experience.

And if we awaken just enough to realize we want a different experience…

Then that is the time to Pause and change what we’re looking at…

So we can truly “see”.




Un”Modified” Love

Some musings from Courtney A. Walsh…

“Dear Human:

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. . . You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.”


This passage is so encouraging…

And so necessary…

As we all need to be reminded…

To be “Re-Minded”:

To choose a moment or two

To take the next step

In learning the practice of shifting perspective.

To discover yet one more jewel

Shining just there…

In the Crown that is our Soul.

To uncover more of

Who We Are…


To relearn the Truth that this is all that is ever needed or required

Of any of us.

We ARE Love.

And each moment we choose to be completely present

With only our love exposed…

Each moment we arrive

With no other expectations

Or judgments…

Each moment we leave behind the “attachments” that hide and smother

The Love that we are…

Then those are the moments we shine, reflecting the Wholeness of Who We Are…

With ALL the components that make us each so uniquely different…and yet simultaneously reflections of each other.

Now that’s ironic, isn’t it?


There was no separation ever intended to exist between

“Us and them”…

“Me and you”…

She and he”.

This has always been of of our own making

Along the path of our life…

This divide…

Sometimes handed to us by another

Sometimes formed of our own fears and doubts.

Separation is the opposite of Love…

And this is the only clue we need in order to know where we stand:

If we feel apart, we have hidden the Love we are.

If we are sharing the Love we are, there will be no separation.


To keep our balance

To keep our hearts steady

Our minds clear and our souls free of projections…

To return to the fullness of living

For which we were always intended…

It is crucial for us to Pause…

To “Re-Mind”’ourselves

Over and over:

We are created in Love

By Love

For Love

To BE Love.

Everything we need…

Was already “installed” within us at the beginning.

It’s already present in our “operating system”…

Right now.

So if we can just sit still a few moments

And allow this realization to bubble to the surface

We will not only begin to know our own power

And love ourselves

For all that we contain,

But we will also begin to remove the darkened shades from our eyes

The shadow bruises on our spirit…

And to see the same Love

That lives

Within each of our fellow beings…

No matter whether they are showing Separation

Or Love



I am thankful that Walsh took the time to pen her beautiful passage above…this “Re-Minder”…

Nudging me to make yet another Shift in my outlook.

I am honored to have been


That I am enough.

And all that is required is that

I “shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die” as ME.

New Worlds

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

Anais Nin

My daughter recently posted a picture of herself with two close longtime friends and the joy on each of their radiant faces inspired me to search for quotes about friends. I looked for quite some time before I finally found the one that reflected what I was feeling from this photo…and you just read that quote above.

The power of friends…

Where even are the words?!


I began to contemplate “new worlds” being born…simply because of the presence of a true friend in my life and how deeply grateful I am for each of them for what they taught me about myself…fostering that change for the better within my mind and soul that did indeed bring forth a “new world” in my life.

And so often brought me to do so for others too.

I am feeling very humble right now, just beginning to touch on thoughts of so many amazing people that have appeared in my life…

Some for shorter visits…

Some for extensive stays.

But each presenting some rare jewel that no other could quite have brought.

Today then, is about Friends and New Worlds.

Get ready to sink into just how wonderful your life has been.


Just for a moment, gift yourself with a Pause to bring to mind someone in your life who caused you to find a “new world” within yourself.

How did they do this?

It could be a tiny world…

Or a giant world…

Or any size in between.

Perhaps they laughed with you.

Or cried with you.

Shared a beautiful picture with you.

Told you “You can do this! I can SEE it!!”

Maybe they dove down into darkness with you with the sole purpose of bringing you back to the surface.

Perhaps they were silent, able to hear more deeply beneath what you were saying or doing than you were able to…then from that, helping yourself to hear and see more clearly.

Maybe they allowed you to sit and voice an opinion very contradictory to their own… without making you feel you had to conform or be anyone else but you.

Or they may even have spoken the words you were afraid to voice…but yet, in your hearing them pronounced, you were finally freed from some internal struggle that had been holding you back for so long.

They might have brought you food when you were so upset you had forgotten to eat.

There may have been a time they opened a door in your mind to a new way of seeing or interacting with your world…not so much giving you an answer but instead lighting a way to your discovering a new solution.

Were you ever gifted with a friend who…

showed you a future vision of yourself you never would have conceived of…

But because they did, you struck out on a path to see who this different “you” truly was…

And found that your friend knew you better than you knew yourself?

Because of such a friend…

You became More You.

Tears are in my eyes as I am overwhelmed by all these treasures I have received…



More than I can hold.



Think of just one person who has opened a New World for you.

Think of what they did or said.

How they did or said it.

How you felt then…

And now.

If they are no longer here in this realm, speak gratefully to them in your heart…as you sift through the memory of their imprint on your life.

If you have lost touch with them, go within yourself to name what they did…and then send them appreciation for their part in the changes they helped you to make.

If you are fortunate enough to have a way to reach out…

With a call

A text

A handwritten note

A visit…

To tell them of even just one tiny shining corner of what they brought to your life…

Share that with them.

Do it.

And soon.

In that moment of gratitude in that memory, you are not only reliving the New World they brought to you…

You are also gifting them with a New World as well, simply with the expression of joy you are bringing into their life.


A New World will always create yet another New World…

But we cannot see how truly miraculous and infinitely numerous they are…until we take a few moments to rest in remembrance…

For it is there we find we are ALL renewed once again.


To a New World.

Radix Amoris (The Root of Love)

“Love is the most radically subversive activism of all, the only thing that ever changed anyone.”

Ann Voscamp

Voscamp takes a very forceful voice with her language here, so I thought we might have a little “etymology adventure” with three of her words.

First, we have “radically” which comes from “radix”, Latin for “root”.

Then the word “subversive” (that which undermines an established system)…stemming from two more Latin roots.

“Sub”: beneath

“Vertere”: to turn

Then finally “activism”

From Latin again

“Actus”: “event”, or “a thing done”

(And here, I am moved to Pause just a moment to express deepest gratitude to my father who taught me as a child to love words and their sources. He, and his love for words, lives on in my own learning, reading and writing to this day! Gratias ad te, Pater meus…amo te.)

Back to class now!

So with Voscamp’s quote we’re being pushed strongly to look at the roots, the underside…

Where it may be a bit darker

And harder to get to things…

Those roots we don’t see

Often don’t acknowledge

But that nevertheless “feed” what is growing and reflected above ground for each of us.


Now wait! Don’t back away quite yet…

We’re just going to dig just a little more, to keep us going.


Even though “subversive” is often used with a negative connotation, we can Pause to change even that outlook, by asking:

“How could Love be a positive subversive force today…for me?”

Will I use it to undermine some “established system” stuck within myself?

Would I begin to dig around and loosen some resentment that comes from not receiving something I think I have a “right” to have?

Or shall I exhume some anger grown from a past wrong another has done?

Do I begin to extricate a belief that something “must be” exactly as I see it and can’t be changed?

And how about the “activism” of Love?

Well, that’s self-explanatory, because action implies movement


The possibility of change.

And yes, you know I am compelled to mention Responsibility here, because the only changes that we are in control of are those in our own hands.

If I see Love as something that constantly moves and shifts,

If I see Love as a choice I make in every moment?

The “turning beneath” unearthing part is not so sinister as at first glance…

Because it means I not only have the power to move;

I am also in charge of choosing to be WILLING to move.

To turn away (even a little)

From something that is keeping me locked down….


Where I, if I am being truthful, really don’t want to remain growing.

Love has the power to do that.

And the source is


In the moment.

That’s where we will start every time.


Love stops and notices and embraces ALL that comes along.

It is no High Judge.

It only receives

And is grateful for ALL.

Love lives IN the Pause.

By standing still

And strong

In its infinite peace…

It pulls ALL into its arms.

It says,

“You belong.

This belongs.

Everything you see




Whatever you can experience?


I can


Hold it all.”

Love changes everything

And everyone.

From beneath.


Radix amoris.


Pause today to notice how many of your senses can be involved in gratitude…

In acceptance of the present moment and what it is offering you.

Then notice what changes:

Within you?

And then beyond you?

Did your clenched stomach relax or your mental churning slow down just a bit?

Did the redness of a flower deepen and glow more intensely…or the clouds orchestrate a fabulous array of shapes just for you?

Did you notice the soft silkiness of your dog’s fur as you slowly stroked her head…and did you see an angel looking at you through her warm amber eyes?

Love is something we give…

And because of its profound quality of infinite reciprocity,

It is also something we are constantly receiving.

No matter what our current trials may be?

We will always find sources of gratitude right there before our eyes…

Patiently Waiting….

For us to Pause

And dig a little…

To find yet another Radix Amoris.

That shift?

The “unstuckness” we seek?

Is just a thought away.


Today, each time you reach out with Gratitude…

Watch how your Love becomes





And then ultimately…

Wondrously magnified.

Hummingbird Moments

Susan Chernak McElroy shares here an unforgettable experience…

What we can learn from broken Humming birds…

Many years ago I was working for the Marin Humane Society when someone brought a young adult hummingbird that had been caught by a cat. The tiny bird rested in a tissue-lined jewelry box that had never held anything as precious, brilliant, or dazzling as the cargo it held then.

I lifted the bird into my hand and felt a wave of nausea wash over me at the sight of her injured wing. Broken into jagged pieces, it hung from the bird’s shoulder like a crushed flower petal. There could be no rescue for this hummingbird. I held her sadly on my open palm and could not have been more surprised when the tiny bird dusted herself off like a chicken after a bath, teetered up the hillside of my hand, and came to perch confidently on my index finger. She began a thorough preening that included the remains of her useless wing, unmindful of my startled face a mere four inches away.

I walked carefully to the employee kitchen with the bird on my finger and mixed her up a quick sugar drink, I don’t imagine she had ever seen an eyedropper before, but she eagerly reached her sliverlike beak to the dropper and drained it in an instant.

“When I put my face closer to marvel at her, she met my gaze, eye for eye. Hers was the size of a grain of translucent black sand. Mine was blue and as large as her body. Her boldness astonished me. How could something this small, with potentially everything in the world to fear, be so courageous? I had handled probably hundreds of wild animals in distress and seen none as calm and trusting as this braveheart hummingbird. On some level she must have proclaimed me ‘safe.’ And that was that.

She did not seek me out in her crisis, but neither did she run from me. We faced each other across the catastrophe of her brokenness and came together for a too-brief few moments of gentle, sacred exchange. I had few heroes in my life at that time, but she instantly became one of them. That I could not offer her life and recovery was devastating to me. Perhaps that is why I still carry her jeweled green face and starlike eyes with me a full twenty-five years across time.”



Close your eyes and let this story sink a little deeper

Into your mind

Your heart

Your soul.

What comes up for you?


Now read it a second time.


What was new?

What did you experience differently that shifted your first view?

And what changed within you?



What happens

When we Pause

To look


We gift ourselves.

And so we cannot help but gift our world as well.

Such giving is always interconnected…

And always brings a change.


McElroy’s words are riveting for me: I was totally drawn into the story…

And so very grateful she took the time to pen her words!

Captivating and poignant… 
The meeting of two beings with open hearts 




All this creating a soul-wrenching beauty

A love/awe experience between two creatures expressed simply in complete presence…

No words needed.

In such moments of connection:

Miracles are revealed 
Wisdom shared 
And strength exchanged 

In just that one single moment.


Every Pause is a gift.

And always… 

We EACH have 

SO very much

To give.

The moment I cease my thoughts, my actions

Simply to notice what is being offered to me?

That is truly a moment of creation.


We create…

In remembering to ask myself:

“What Hummingbird Moment will you find hidden today…

Within this Pause?”

Truly all

Becomes new

Before my eyes.


Will you go now…

And begin your creative journey?



Look again.


Hummingbirds everywhere!

(Photo credit: The picture of the quite “unbroken” hummingbird above was taken by my dear friend Kara Salvagno in her very own backyard. My very deepest gratitude to you, Kara, for sharing your beautiful friend with me…and with all who come to alight here amongst these words!)

Our True Garden

“When in doubt, choose change.”

Lily Leung

“Same doesn’t allow for growth.”

Tamara Lechner


If I notice myself

On one side

Fearing to speak up

Or to act



On the other side

My inner voice says

“Do it!

Be different!

Choose change!!”

Then I am in that moment facing full on

A miraculous opportunity

To shift…

To become




In this moment of Pause

I am being presented


With the chance

To bloom….

But I realize anew

With wonder and joy

Something even more


I am assured

To my very core

That I am not just a single flower…

Oh no, I’m not.

I am an entire




Take a moment to close your eyes.

Take a few deep, relaxing breaths.

What Conflict is most present for you right now?

Hold it in your mind and heart.

Easy now.


If judgment tries to take control, ask it to step aside…

Just for a few minutes.

(We often have to do this more than once! Know that this is normal. Just keep asking Judgement to step aside again.

It will.)


Observe both sides of the Conflict.

First, see yourself choosing to stay the same.

How does your body react?

Your mind?

And now your feelings?

Now switch.

Imagine yourself choosing a different course of thought and action in dealing with this Conflict.

How does your body react?

Your mind?

And now your feelings?

Which choice brings you…







Which vision

Makes you feel most vibrant

And real?

THAT is your True Garden.



Love yourself enough

To go walk among your beautiful flowers.

As Lily Leung pleads with us:

“Choose change.”


Change is so often difficult

Because we haven’t experienced this exact circumstance before.

But if we DON’T change

Just think…

We would still then be living

As we were.

Do we really want that?

(Tell yourself the truth.)

If your inner voice is saying,


Aren’t we all just a little bit curious

To explore…

What THAT Garden really looks like?



DO go walk there.

And know this also:

That there will be other eyes

Watching as you go…

Gaining just enough strength

To Pause.

And wonder.

To believe finally in their own Garden

Waiting…just there, over the rise.

Empowered at last

To take a first step

Down their very own path.

And we’re we able to fly above it all?

We would discover

That ALL our Gardens

Are connected

In a miraculous astounding rainbow blanket

Of never ending color…

As far as the soul can see.