Cast Your Stone

There’s a story in scripture that even those that don’t believe in Jesus know.
The book of John tells that a crowd gathered around a woman who had been accused of adultery and demanded that she be stoned,according to a set of rules and regulations.
Jesus, however,said these powerful,profound words-“Whichever one of you is without sin,cast your stone.”

Of course,no one did because no one is without sin but I can just imagine the people walking away, thinking to themselves,perhaps huddling in small groups and whispering,”Sure, I sin, but my sins aren’t as bad as hers .” or justifying it by “well, it’s different in my case; I’m nothing like that woman!”

I know,because I’ve been there on both sides.
I’ve had well meaning “Christian” people accuse me of having an inappropriate relationship with another man and I’ve been quick to pass the same exact judgment on another woman.

I’ve felt the sting of being on the receiving end of verbal stones that were etched with words of shame, anger, bitterness,hatred, judgment,condemnation,and jealously.
Those stones lead me to build up a big wall,shielding my heart from others. It was my way of protecting myself but it also, unintentionally,created a barrier that isolated me and kept me from forming close,intimate relationships.
I hid behind my stone wall, barely even letting  those closest to me inside. I even pushed God out of my life because,after all,wasn’t it all His people, the Christian- God believing,church going people that had placed me in the situation?

For years, I worn this invisible “scarlet letter,” and I also pulled on a mask,pretending not to care, ignoring the loneliness,and trying hard to convince myself that it really didn’t matter.

It did,though,and I was only fooling myself. I wasn’t fooling God and He saw right through me and He gently began to soften my heart and to teach me  something else.

“Cast your stone,” He said, but rather than the hurling stones at someone like they did in the past, with strict rules and regulations, engraved with condemnation and judgement, I want you to cast stones as if upon water and create a ripple effect.
I heard His voice,whispering softly yet persuasively, filling me with words of life to mark on the stones.

Love. Joy. Tenderness. Kindness. Encouragement. Peace.Mercy.Honor.Clarity.Abundance.Compassion. Hope. Grace. Strength.Patience. Understanding.Courage. Acceptance.Generosity. Forgiveness.Faith.Beloved.
Desired. Cherished.

All these beautiful, affirming words that could be used as stepping stones….laid out one by one by one to create a pathway-a mosaics of inspirational truths- showing others what God’s love is really all about.

So yesterday,my husband and I bought a huge bag of black polished river stones and a few white Sharpie markers and began to write the words we had been given along with the name of our new website, http://www.castyourstone.com.

Instead of hurling stones with force,we will place the stones gently into the hands of people and let the ripple effect take place. We may leave stones where they can be found,and we might place a stone in unexpected places,but I know this much for certain.

It may seem random to us and it may not make sense at the time,but God has a plan and purpose for each and every thing that happens in our lives.

I know that everything I have experienced has taught me to be slow to judge,and quick to forgive. I can see how some relationships that others would think the worst of have actually been pivotal, life-changing ones.
I know that I’m the woman I am now because of all the relationships-the good and the not so good-that have shaped and taught me.

Sometimes the very things that break us,also brings us to where we are supposed to be.

Love works that way-God works that way-and it’s absolutely amazing to recognize how things fall into place. I don’t regret a single thing because I’ve learned so much about my capacity to love and God’s incredible attention to detail.using all things to work together for good.

I have received the beautiful stones of mercy and grace,of love and clarity  and,in turn, I’ve chosen to give back the same stones. I’ve offered forgiveness and found my own freedom, I’ve let go of anger and received peace, Instead of holding grudges,I hold hands and I feel the love of God  overflowing from every part of my life.

It really is true that we should never judge anyone because they sin differently than we do.
Rather than.pointing fingers.we should offer a hand….we should cast a stone.
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This creates a ripple effect. A simple stone,a single word,an assuring touch can be the very beginning and it can go on and on,expanding and overflowing, making a tremendous impact and changing the world.

Whosoever is with sin -that’s each and every one of us- mcast your stone and create a ripple effect of love. <a href="http://castyourstone.com&quot;
Feel with both hands, Jeanna'

Don’t SQUANDER!

Every so often I’m reminded of what this life is all about….and I just feel the need to whisper “Please,don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life you’ve been given.”

Please, take this life and use it until every single drop overflows and splashes out, drenching others with your love, your passion, and your unique spirit.

Please don’t diminish who you are, or settle, or doubt the extraordinary purpose of your life.

You see, I’ve learned something during this last year, when I’ve had to come to terms with the way I had lived my own life.  There were some dark days that I really had to struggle to make sense of, and I had to figure things out almost entirely by myself.

Those “dark days”, as I call them now, are the days that lead me back to my Creator and forward to the life of intention, passion, and love that I had always wanted to live.
I took the words that had been spoken to me and held them up against the words I read in scripture and, slowly but surely, I began to see myself through the eyes of love – God’s love – and that changed my outlook and my life.

I claimed a verse about being “Set Apart” and held that one close to my heart, along with another one about “Promises Kept”.
And then I just decided to let go and let God.  That’s been something that I always thought was a bit of “cop out”. Ooh, yeah, “let go and let God”?
It really is easier said than done…..but that is exactly what I did.

I stopped trying to fit in some preconceived mold of what a “good, Christian woman” was and started finding out who I really was and what I believed.
I discovered that I wasn’t “too much” after all and that all those things that others said was “too much” was actually “just right” to God. I’ve always had “too much” passion, “too much” energy, and I felt “too strongly”. I was told that I “loved too much”, that I “gave too generously”, “acted too sensual ” and the list went on. I had never felt quite good enough but just couldn’t put my finger on why I felt that way.
I had started to diminish my light, to pull on a mask and to hide behind a wall in an attempt to try not to feel so strongly about anything but, as I read and reflected, the words began to fill my very being with grace, strength and courage – more than enough of everything to make me realize just exactly what the real truth is.

“Fearfully and wonderfully made”, written plain as day. That meant everything about me – from my hearing impairment, my strong will and passionate soul, my brown eyes and everything that was “too much” was actually all intentionally planned.

This taught me that God created me and loved me enough – just me – and I didn’t and shouldn’t have to depend on anyone else for validation or love or acceptance.
He who created me also wanted me and loved me just the way I am, and that was it.

The more I studied and understood, the more free I felt; the weight and the burden of everything lifted off my shoulders and went squarely onto the shoulders of my Creator.

Then I came upon this verse in 2 Corinthians 6, where it said ” Please, don’t squander one bit of the marvelous life that has been given to you” and I just whispered quietly,”Never again, God, never again”

Never again will I withhold forgiveness when I can give it. Never again will I decline an invitation because I doubt my beauty. Never again will I build up a wall to imprison myself. Never again will I pass up a chance to be kind and considerate. Never again will I squash myself down to fit into someone else’ comfort zone. Never again will I settle for less than what I really want. Never again will I regret anything I’ve done.
Never again will I waste any of my marvelous life.

http://www.bodyandsoulinspiration.com

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Choose To Be Love

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When I saw this beautiful quote on a Facebook page that  I often look at, I had to capture it and save it,knowing full well that I had not always chosen to be love.

Too many times, I’ve seen families torn apart and friendships ruined because of choices that were anything but love.  People have chosen to build  walls,to hold life-long grudges, to constantly hold on to the past as if it were a treasured heirloom.

I’ve done it,too,although I’ve tried to sweep it under the rug and to make it seem like it was something different,the hard truth is that I’ve let friendships fall apart and I’ve built up walls that held out people that wanted to love me.

 Maybe the intention was to protect ourselves from further hurt,but the truth is those choices actually cause more pain.
The anguish of loneliness,
the bitterness of unforgiveness,the stench of regrets wreck havoc on the soul and breaks down the body.

“Choose to be love.”

I let those words soak into me. I sat outside on my patio,pondering those words over and over, and I wrote poetry.
My own words started to mock me,to call me out,to push me from my comfort zone of keeping my words to myself and just a few close friends.
I knew the power of words-I claimed words of courage,of inspiration,of hope,and love. I printed and framed quotes and sent cards with favorite quotes tucked in but I was also cautious-selecting those that I shared my poetry with,giving only glimpses to others,relying heavily on a few kindred spirits that I felt “got me”.

So,I started to do some real soul searching-digging deep into what it means to “choose to be love.”

It hit me clearly,upside the head,the other day, that to chose  love means taking action with my words.
It means that I can’t just write beautiful words,I must also LIVE those words. It’s not enough to speak them,to read and frame them, to write them and keep them tucked away in my journals.
If I really consider my words to be a God-given gift then I absolutely must do more
with my words and my life.

“Choose to be love.”

For me, I choose to make  a decision  to step forward and to forgive,to let go of the past and to start over,to open my arms wide,even while tears ran  down my face,and my heart was broken.
I choose to look for the glimpses of light in the darkness,to see the  significance in a lightening bug on rainy night, to wait out the storm until the dawn broke through with clarity,and to take chances.

“Choose to be love.”

As I write this,tucked in my covers,leaning against the pillows on my bed, my heart speaks quietly,reassuring me that the timing is good and that it’s time to begin living the words that I claim to be beautiful, to be true,to be inspirational,and to be love.

I will make the choice each day,each moment to respond with love. I will take my words and create things with them, and I will be first-to forgive,to embrace,to nurture,to come around, to give gifts, to open the door,and to tear down the walls.

I will choose to be love and maybe, just maybe,my choices will come back to me a hundred fold, and others will live the words that they receive and they,too,will choose to be love.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

I Want To Talk To You

One evening, I decided to walk outside to pull the weeds along my front flowerbed.
My family was about to watch a movie and the timing seemed perfect to sneak out alone.
I made it to the end of the pathway when my daughter came walking up to me with a sparkle in her eyes and the biggest smile.
“Mom. I have to tell you what Riven just said” 
As I had shut the front door and walked out,my two year old granddaughter,ran behind saying,
“Hey,hey,hey I want to talk to you!”

Since I’m hard of hearing, Riven’s call fell on deaf ears- however, my daughter made sure that I knew what Riven said.

“I want to talk to you.” 

What a loaded sentence. It can fill us with anticipation or with dread, depending on who makes the statement and what the circumstances are.

Sometimes it’s hard to say those words, to be the first to express a desire but other times,it’s a confirmation that we are,indeed,wanted.

My daddy could always be found outside in our backyard,sitting on this long swing he had hung,under the shade trees.
Wherever I wanted to talk to him, I knew where to find him and, more importantly, I knew that he would always listen.

Sometimes, though, Daddy would tap my shoulder and sternly say, ” I want to talk to you” and I knew to go out to that swing and to wait for him to come.
I learned some very important lessons while sitting on that swing, listening to my daddy talk to me.

“I want to talk to you.”

I crouched down in the grass, wiping the dirt from my hands and asked Riven, “So, you want to talk to me?”

Pure delight filled her eyes, the  biggest smile lit up her face as she grabbed my hand and exclaimed,”YEA!!”

We walked hand in hand to my own porch swing and sat down to “talk”, but mostly we just laughed and snuggled. It wasn’t the words that mattered,it was about the time we spent together.

“I want to talk to you” 

When my friend sent me that text, I knew that we would soon be sharing a meal, leaning forward,catching up on each other’s lives.
It was an invitation, a request to share thoughts,ideas,and feelings.  There’s something so special about friendships that grow because they make the time and effort to spend quality time together-to talk and to listen.

“I want to talk to you.”

A year ago, those words were said and I stood for months on the ragged edge between hope and despair,faith and doubt,lost and found.

That’s when I began to realize that I had to make a choice -to tear down-the walls I had built and to forgive and heal the wounds or to give up and move on from the past.

“I want to talk to you.”

That’s how I’ve always seen God -like a wonderful dad that pats the seat on the swing and beckons me to sit down and pour out my heart to Him.
I don’t have to plan ahead,to get all dressed up or attend a special service at a certain time or to fight the feelings of shame or judgment.
I never second guess my place,or doubt that He’ll listen.
I just know that, no matter what I have to say, He’ll listen because all my life, even when it fell on deaf ears,He was saying,

“I want to talk to you.”  http://rockwallbodyandsoulmassage.comI

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Holding Ava

Several months ago, I found out about something that would change my life. It was something I had only imagined.and suddenly, it wasn’t only a hope,wishful thinking,or a fantasy -it was becoming a reality!
I waited for months,just as if I was expecting a baby, filled with anticipation, dreaming and planning, for the day that I would finally hold Ava.

The day came, just an ordinary day.when an email arrived “Are you ready for Ava?”

My eyes filled with tears.my hands shook and I whispered, “Finally” before bursting into a dance of pure joy and exclaiming, “YES! YES! YES!”

AVA is an acronym meaning “audio – visual accessibility” and it’s an incredible new app that allows for deaf and hearing impaired like me to finally participate and understand group conversations, by linking smart phones in a network that enables spoken words to become readable text.

So, unless you’re deaf or hearing impaired,or know someone who is,then you may not even know about Ava or understand my excitement.

Well, why don’t you just step into my cowboy boots and walk a mile or two in them

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Continue reading “Holding Ava”

Boogie Bears and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, I believed in fairy tales and boogie bears. .
I was a rambunctious.free spirited child and.at the end of the day, I would climb into bed and talk about everything I could possibly come up with so I wouldn’t have to go to sleep.
My Mema had to come up with something to settle me down and so she would lay beside me, sneak her hand beneath the pillow and tap my headboard.
Tap, tap,tap.
“You better be quiet and still,Jeanna’,…you better go to sleep..the boogie bear is coming….hush,hush,hush”

I would giggle and squirm because I knew it was her,but there was a part of me that believed if I was very,very quiet and still,the boogie bear would never find me.

“Quiet and still” was almost impossible for me back then,and,to this day.it’s hard for me to sit still and be quiet when I want to get up and dance,or walk away,to speak my mind or write my words.

But, I’ve grown up-just enough-to realize that being “quiet and still” is sometimes the very best thing we can do.

You see, the boogie bear is real. He comes sneaking in to steal our joy,to fill us with doubts and fear, and he plays on our insecurities,making us feel inferior. He wears many different disguises,and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s a boogie bear until we feel the tight grip crushing our spirit.

The boogie bear uses words like powerful weapons; “You’re too much!”
“You’re not enough!”
“You can’t do this!”
“You don’t matter!”
“You don’t belong!”

Those words are uttered by classmates, by so-called friends,by family members and co-workers …..but the real sting is when we say those words to ourselves,becoming our own worst enemy,our personal boogie bear.

That’s when we need to become quiet and still, to take the time to reflect on who we really are and what matters to us.

I discovered Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” during a critical time in my life when my heart was breaking and my body didn’t feel like it belonged to me anymore.
His well written words were a balm for my spirit,giving me courage and strength to begin banishing the boogie bears in my life.
I began making changes-cutting off my long hair,hiring a personal trainer and taking care of my body.
Then,as I read and reflected,I realized that I needed to use my hearing loss to my best advantage, becoming very selective about who I listened to and who I shared my words with.
I had to step away from some relationships and cultivate others that really “got me”.

The last year that I stayed in the place that wasn’t meant for me, I would guard my heart closely, staying only when needed, staring out the windows while working,knowing that I wouldn’t feel free until I was on my own.
I shared my dream with just a few people and those people became my fairy tale heroes.

“You can do this!”
“You have what it takes!”
“You are the best!”
“I believe in you!”

Those words begin to sink in,to fill me up and to give me back my power,my faith,and my resolve to be exactly the woman that I’ve always knew God intended me to be.

I’m not meant to fit in, or be like anyone else. I am blessed with a hearing impairment which means I can only understand those that come close enough so that I can read their lips.
That means they are also close enough for me to reach out and touch,which is what I’ve always been called to do.
I’m the “touchy feely” person-I hug too tight, plant kisses on cheeks,and curl up next to people and,you know what?
I’ve finally realized that’s okay, and if anyone isn’t comfortable with my touch,they can always step away.
I’m “too much”. I really am…I love too much,forgive too much,wear too much red lipstick, and too high heels.
I say exactly what I feel and I dance whenever the mood strikes my fancy and sometimes that’s “too much” for others, but that’s okay,too.

I’m “not enough”,too . I’m not weak enough to be pushed aside and I don’t get scared enough,I don’t over analyze enough,or figure out every single detail before I make decisions. I don’t always have enough money to cushion my falls, but I always have “just enough”to get through.
I don’t care enough about social media,or peer pressure,or what others think about me anymore.

I know that some people will disagree but I think God gives us exactly who and what we need when we need it. That’s why I’ve learned that sometimes what we think is a boogie bear can turn out to be a blessing,what we might first see as a trap,may actually be a springboard, and the words that may have been meant to destroy you,actually restored you instead.

I guess,truth be told, I still believe in boogie bears and fairy tales because I’m living proof that both exist right now- filled with “too much”and “not enough” and “just right” -it’s absolutely imperfectly perfect and it’s just the way I love things to be- unexpected,blissful-messy,chaotic,colorful,beautiful,fulfilling….maybe for someone else,it’s not enough,but for me-

Too much is just right!
Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Make More Love

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Two weeks ago, I sat on my Thai mat,face to face,hand in hand,with a beautiful,young woman after her session.
As always, I ended the session by thanking her for trusting me with her body and explaining the emotional and physical connection of Thai Massage.
As she begin sharing her story with me, I heard myself say some words that just resonate with my own soul,my own feelings,and my own life.

“Make more love. Make love because you love this man.Make love because it feels good.Make love because it’s an physical expression of your heart.Make love because you desire each other.and because it fulfills your needs and wants. Make love simply because you want to.”

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she leaned forward and hugged me.

Sometimes, when trying to  conceive, couples feel such pressure,and making love-having sex- becomes a scheduled science project-driven by temperature,timing,and numerous other factors  instead of the spontaneous,joyous expression  of love that it is intended to be.

“Make more love.”

After she left, I folded up my Thai mat, while wiping my own tears,and I realize just what I said doesn’t apply to only sexual intimacy between couples.

No,make more love also applies to all of us. It’s a conscious decision that we can each make every hour,every day to respond with love,with kindness,with joy to others.

Life isn’t an exact science. We can’t guarantee that we will conceive if we do this and that on such and such time. We can’t be absolute certain of the weather,the traffic,the outcome of almost anything but we can choose to make love,intentionally,passionately,randomly,and without expectations.

Too often we hoard our love and affection,holding back,waiting for someone else to give love first.
It’s that mindset of “what’s in it for me?” that often pulls the brakes on our actions. We keep records of gifts given and received,of time spent with others,of hugs and kisses, and we jump at conclusions if we think it’s unfair or uneven.

Isn’t that a shame? To have and not to give? In the end of the day,don’t we realize that the more we give out,the more we get back? It’s the greatest investment,and the return rate is phenomenal.

We can choose to smile at a stranger,to allow another car to merge ahead,to open the door for someone else.
We can touch a child with kindness, give a bag full of bulbs,buy a drink for the guy in the car behind us, and take cookies to a friend.

We can make more love when we look for opportunities to show up,when we sit down and listen-really-listen to what’s being said.

We make more love every time we send an encouraging text,when we acknowledge another’s presence, when we are attentive and mindful.

There’s this thing called “The Five Love Languages” and it’s based on the belief that we each have a primary love language that we are fluent in and respond to best.
The languages are defined by Acts of Service, Quality of Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Receiving Gifts.

I was raised in such a loving home,by people that each had a different love language and has a result, I’m multi-lingual, fluent in every language of love, and able to give and receive in the language of others.
Yet.I’ve been guilty of withholding love.too.I’ve hesitated instead of leaping at opportunities to love, and I’ve denied myself and others the pleasure of love just because I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate or would be misunderstood.
I’ve held back when I should have given,said “no”when my heart said “yes” and made excuses when I knew love was calling me to act.

That’s just not right,it’s simply unacceptable and so, I’m going to declare that this is enough of that foolishness.

I’m going to make more love today,and tomorrow and the day after that and maybe,just maybe,it’ll be like a little spark, and others will start making love more.

Like confetti,like sprinkles,like glitter-let your love making scatter wherever you go,and touch whoever you meet.

Make more love because it feels wonderful! Make more love every day!
Continue reading “Make More Love”

Oh,WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Two days ago, I parked my car next to my daughter’s car at the oil change shop and,after being told that it would be a hour wait, we decided to walk next door to  Lowe’s.
As we walked inside the doors, my 2 year old granddaughter, Riven Noelle, lifted her hands up,and exclaimed “WOW,OH,WOW!!” and began to walk,and dance and run in sheer amazement at the space of the store,and the possibilities it held.
Her delight was contagious -the clerks smiled,customers laughed and met my eye with smiles of their own.
One man even stooped down to sing “the itsy,bitsy spider” to her,while remarking to us about her absolute joy.

We walked up and down the large aisles,stopping to see our reflections in the mirrors.
She pressed her hands against one mirror, shaking her body, drinking her milkshake,and staring intentionally at herself.
She saw that she was cute and,most importantly,she liked what she saw in the mirror.

We didn’t just walk down the aisles;we skipped and danced, following her lead, we did more of a sashay, twirling and swirling,moving our bodies to the rhythm of our hearts.

When we entered the garden section,her eyes got even bigger and she stretched her arms wide again, running forward, shouting “WOW,OH,WOW,WOW!!!”

She touched the different flowers, pressed her nose into  the  blooms,pointed out the colors, “pink,red,blue”.
She patted some,declaring them to be “soft” and those that were sharp,she declared strongly were “bad”.
We picked out several pots of plants from the clearance racks,and a few from the front of the store.
She chose the most vibrant colors-the beautiful oranges,pinks,purples,and yellows.
It didn’t matter what kind of flowers they were,what mattered was they were “pretty” and they were “soft”.

Afterwards I couldn’t shake the feeling that this 2 year old child was teaching me more than I was teaching her, that she was showing me how life was meant to be lived and how I was supposed to love.

Think about it, when was the last time you said,”OH,WOW !”,as you walked through a home improvement store?
When was the last time you saw the possibilities,and the beauty of lumber,of bolts,and screws,of rocks and pots,bags of dirt and trays of flowers?

Sometimes we just think of the work involved,instead of looking at the simple beauty of things.
Riven is only 2,and she doesn’t understand that there’s work involved in the flowers. She doesn’t think about digging holes,pulling out weeds, planting the bulbs and seeds and tiny new plants. She doesn’t think about measuring and cutting,sanding and painting, or all the work involved in making a playhouse.
All Riven thinks about is how “pretty” and “soft” the.flowers are, how much fun the playhouse would be, how cool the rocks feel in her hands.

Over the years, I’ve neglected my garden,and even though it’s hard to admit,I’ve also neglected my soul.
I’ve worried about what others would think,instead of just doing what I really wanted. I toned down my exuberant personality a little,went for “neutral” colors, and I walked,when I really wanted to sashay.
But,my 2 year old bundle of joy has bought me back to life,to seeing the “WOW” in everything in my life, to bursting with happiness,to running fast, exclaiming “Just WOW!” leaping into an embrace.
Riven wraps both arms around those she loves,she gives and receives kisses. Actually,she DEMANDS to be kissed – she actually pointed to her lips and demanded her uncle give her a goodnight kiss!
Riven prays spontaneously, asking us all to hold hands, clapping at the “amen”. She doesn’t wait for a “proper” time or a “sacred”place, she just decides to “pray,pray”.

This little girl gives me the courage to pick out the whimsical things that I really want for my garden and my home. She reminds me to wear what I really like wearing,to see my own unique style and beauty in my reflection, and she dares me to live in a sense of amazement and wonder,of anticipation and joy, in the very real and present moment.

I want my life to be filled with “WOW”,overflowing with excitement and delight, and I want it to be contagious,just exactly like Riven’s love of life is.

“WOW,OH,WOW”  
Say it,live it,believe it-BE it!

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

A Slice Of Love…Or Cake

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Once in a blue moon, I buy this cheesecake variety because I know that everyone will get a slice or two of their favorite. I love watching how they pick and choose,trying to decide which they REALLY want, and how they take a bite or two of someone else’s slice.

It’s always been just a cake-a really good cake-but,I’ve learned something very enlightening about cakes and about love.

Maybe if we think of love like a variety of cheesecakes,we will realize there’s enough slices for everyone, and there’s different ways to love and be loved by different people.

Maybe,just maybe,each one of us is a variety cheesecake and we can give slices of ourselves-and our love-differently,beautifully,wonderfully to more people than we ever thought possible.

There’s enough love to go around, for each child we have,for our spouses,our friends,our family,and our kindred spirits. We can and do love different people in different ways, and that’s the incredible capacity of the soul’s ability to grow,to expand and create more space,more intimacy,more love,more depth and,of course,more variety!

When I was a child, I absolutely adored my Papa-Daddy. He raised me from the time I was an infant so,as far as I was concerned,he was more than just my “Papa”,he was also my “Daddy”.

Sometimes this caused jealously in the family, because I “walked the fence”,claiming to be both a child and a grandchild- I was grabbing TWO slices of that cheesecake.

One day, I was reminded that I was “just a grandchild” by someone and I tearfully ran to my Daddy and asked him,”Don’t you WANT to be my Daddy? Don’t you love me?”

My poor Daddy had to explain to me,over and over,for years to come that he did,indeed,want to be my Daddy and he did love me.
He had to “walk that fence”,too,straddling the fence between his children and grandchildren, all because we didn’t realize that there was plenty of love to go around,more than enough, for each of us.

There’s so many broken relationships, hurt feelings,tangled lines all because we are afraid that there’s not going to be enough to go around, that our favorite slice will be taken from us.
We hoard the cake,spoiling the flavor,ruining the entire deliciousness because we don’t want to share,to give anyone else a bite, or two,or a slice.

But I’ve been thinking, that’s got to change and it can begin with the way we look at ourselves and at  those we love.

We are created by the Master Pastry Chef-created with love,sprinkled with all kinds of gifts,of experiences,of unique  abilities and talents,and placed just where we are supposed to be. 
We were made to love and to be loved,to be sliced and shared, to be tasted and to taste.
We were placed on a giant circle, nestled in between others so that we can develop a richer,deeper flavor.

I believe that we can and should love more, that we can love different people in a variety of ways and there’s always more slices of our love to give away,to share,to enjoy.
You see,unlike cheesecake-we can’t over indulge in love,we don’t need to count calories or fat grams,or have a “cheat day” in our diet plan for love.

No,love shouldn’t be limited to once in a blue moon,and showing love shouldn’t be limited to special occasions, and love shouldn’t be hoarded,or forced fed, and it certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted. 

There’s enough love in each of us and for each of us to have all we will ever need or want.
Every slice of love you give, creates more- the more you love,the more you will be loved,and the more generously you give of your love,the more love you will receive back.
You may not get back the same slice you gave,and you might sometimes get a smaller or bigger slice of your favorite,but you’ll always have enough and you can always ask the Master Pastry Chef to make you some more.

After all, that’s what love does-any way you slice it!A Slice of Love

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

Why Not?

I just read this post on Twitter.and it said “Why not?”.
That’s it,that’s all it said and yet I just couldn’t get those two words off my mind all day. During sessions with clients,while working out,even when driving from one place to another.
Why not?
Why not?
Why not.indeed.babe.why not?
How many times have you talked yourself out of something? Passed up opportunities? Turned down invitations? Put off going someplace you longed to go?
How many times have you sat quietly when you really wanted to speak your mind? Why did you decide not to buy something you loved just because it was a little “too much”? Why didn’t you just go ahead and grab the hand of a “fine.young man and dance  down the grocery aisle?

That’s what my Mema would do-much to my embarrassment when I was a teenager-she would hear a song at the store and start dancing along and sometimes,if she was lucky,some “fine,young man” would dance with her.

The more I think about it,the more I think, “Why not?”

Why not stop and smell the flowers while you’re in the grocery store?  Heck,why not buy yourself a bouquet of flowers just because you can?

That’s something I started doing 3 years ago,when I accepted that no-one else was going to think of buying me flowers,so I just decided to buy my own.
Instead of expecting someone else to read my mind and know what I wanted, I thought, “why not just do it!”

And you know what?

There is something so wonderful about living with that sense of carefree anticipation, that willingness to be spontaneous and open to the possibilities.
It’s also owning up to your own abilities,desires and choices. It’s taking the incentive, making the first move,grabbing the bull by the horn, so to speak.

That’s what my friend, Jan, did this past Christmas, and it turned out to one of the best Christmases ever-all because she thought “why not ?”and invited others to join them to celebrate. Instead of just doing things the same old way, she took the incentive and offered an invition which bought even morr joy to the day.

A few weeks ago, I stayed late to give a massage to an exhausted client that apologized for being late due to a massive traffic jam.
He seemed surprised that I was willing to wait for him and I said,”why not, I’m already here,everything’s prepared,why not wait for you?”

Sometimes we over-analyze things too much instead of just giving in to the glorious freedom of. “Why not?” We think too much about what others would think instead of considering what we think and feel ourselves.

I know I’ve wrestled with-this more that I care to admit. I’ve hesitated before making a call,before dropping in to visit someone,and even yesterday, I had second thoughts about using a picture for my business rack cards.

At first glance, the picture may look a little sexy,but when I look at that picture,I see a smile that radiates confidence and joy as I remember that day spent with my good friend,Kerri.
As we walked to the restaurant for lunch,she suggested we take some photos for my website and so we did.  It was such a fun experience, we were laughing and talking,completely comfortable with each other and that’s what I see when I look at that picture- I don’t just see myself, I see my friend, and the warm,inviting aura that surrounds us.
So when misgivings about the picture came to mind, I pushed them aside and thought “why not?”

There’s another side to this,though, and it’s not just fun and games.

Sometimes, we hold on to the past,refusing to let go,to forgive,to heal.
And then,the same question comes back to mind.
Why not?
Why not?
Why not step forward and be the first to apologize?  Why not ask tu be forgiven,and to forgive?  Why not reconnect with an old friend that you’ve missed?

We put ourselves in jail, and swallow our own key when we live bound by rules and regulations, by fear and regrets,by shame and guilt.

When it really could be as simple,as beautiful,as empowering as saying “why not?” and then going forth boldly with the answer on your lips -“Why not?”

No reason.

image

why not!

I

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’