Thursday, December 31, 2009

Write it on your heart

As the new year (new decade!) approaches holding so much possibility, I thought it worth remembering that every new day, holds the same promise and equal opportunity for new beginnings. The first line of this poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson has been one of my favourite quotes for a long time. I was glad to find the remaining lines this morning and have posted them here for you.

Wishing you a blessed and bountiful 2010!

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.

- ralph waldo emerson -

Monday, December 28, 2009

thoughts on courage

2010 is rapidly approaching. There are only 3 more days before my year of courage begins.

I've spent a lot of time over the last few weeks thinking about what courage means and how to muster it. I've read up a bit on it, and searched for its definition and origin. I've played with the word in my mind and with my voice. I do like the sound of it - it has a rich strong sound that seems to come from the back of the throat and then settle on the tip of the tongue between the teeth.
Quietly saying the word seems to bring me to my centre.

Apparently the word courage has its origins in the Latin word cor which means heart.

Thus it seems that living courageously is all about living - being, listening, choosing, doing, speaking, moving - from the heart.

Our fears exist for the most part in our heads. In situations where there is no 'clear and present danger', our imagined threats are what halt us in our tracks.
Our heads swing from yes to no and back again. Our hearts know the truth.
Our heads toss up the pros and cons. Our hearts know what needs to be done.
Our heads doubt our abilities. Our hearts trust that we have all that we need.
Our heads remind us of our past mistakes. Our hearts forgive. Over and over again.
Our heads can generate endless fears. Our hearts are a source of infinite love.

So living with fear or living with courage boils down to a simple choice between listening to the voices in our heads, or following our hearts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Greetings

I'd like to share with you this Christmas, an excerpt from Marianne Williamson's Soulful Living website.

"Why does the mystic celebrate Christmas?
Because the birth of Jesus heralds the opportunity for new life on earth, not just for one man but for the entire human race. Christmas represents the spiritual possibility that we will leave behind who we used to be and become who we were created to be. Mary represents the soul, impregnated by the seed of God, giving birth to the highest possibility within us. We emerge as transformed beings, mothered by our humanity and fathered by God, risen at last to our true reality. The star of Christmas, the light that glowed in a darkened sky, is literally the realization that there lies within us such divine potential. Our mystical union with Mary and Jesus illumines not only our understanding, but also the trajectory of our entire lives.
It lifts us into the spiritual vortex of the truth their lives revealed."

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009


“i am sorry for your loss” she said
“so very sorry”
but how do i grieve for something that was not yet mine?
only starting
slowly forming
how do i grieve for something that i never knew?
an unexpected gift
silently hoped for

i took some time to believe it
but i held onto a quiet promise: two blue lines
i tossed around visions of a different future
a future where we would be five
already so blessed
i felt greedy for wanting so much joy

suddenly gone
taken in a river of blood
tears wash away my pain
leaving a hole where once there was hope
i am empty
overflowing with love

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my word for 2010 revisited

A few weeks ago I wrote about choosing a word for 2010...and at the end of my post I suggested that my word for the year might be VITALITY. It seems to sum up how I want my life to be, and how I want to feel each day - full of energy, strength and vibrant health.

Now this is definitely still a goal but I've realised that before I can really live my best, most vital life I need to address some deeper issues around my self image, my doubts and fears, my beliefs about who and what I am capable of being. So I've decide to change my word for 2010 to COURAGE.

This quote from Maya Angelou encapsulates why courage is so very important -

"One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

It takes courage to be true to yourself.
It takes courage to speak up and risk ridicule or rejection.
It takes courage to act when you feel crippled by fear.
It takes courage to take the road less travelled.
It takes courage to let go of old hopes and dreams.
It takes courage to create a new vision for your life.
It takes courage to say No.
It takes courage to say Yes.
It takes courage to walk away.
It takes courage to stay.
It takes courage to trust yourself to choose what is right for you.
It takes courage to stop complaining and accept responsibility.
It takes courage to be happy knowing that sadness is lurking in the shadows.

Where would we be without courage?
What sort of a life are we living if we don't embrace courage as our highest value.

So 2010, here I come, fuelled by COURAGE, ready to reach for my best life.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thaw by Fiona Robyn

Fiona Robyn is going to blog her next novel, Thaw, starting on the 1st of March next year. The novel follows 32 year old Ruth’s diary over three months as she decides whether or not to carry on living.

To help spread the word she’s organising a Blogsplash, where blogs will publish the first page of Ruth’s diary simultaneously (and a link to the blog).

She’s aiming to get 1000 blogs involved – if you’d be interested in joining in, email her at or find out more information at

I'm really looking forward to being a part of the online release of Thaw! Why don't you join up too?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Be Yourself. Do What you Love.

A little while ago I posted my 10 Personal Commandments, and I promised to write more about each one in later posts. I've been musing over what to write about the first of my Personal Commandments for a few weeks now... it must surely be at the top of everyone's list of personal commandments - Be Yourself.
It is the most basic, perhaps most obvious, and in theory the most simple thing one can do in life...but somehow it takes most of us a good thirty years to figure out Who we Really Are, and then the rest of our lives learning to Accept who we are, Be who we are, and Love who we are. Perhaps really, this is the very reason we are here. Because the flip side is learning to accept Others as they are, Allow them to Be who they Are, and learn to Love them as they are. (Please excuse the random Use of Caps).
We are all unique. No two people are the same. No two lives are identical and we all look at life from a slightly different perspective. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself, to disagree with the masses, to voice your opinion, to choose your own path, and to live a life that you know is right for you. But there is nothing more soul destroying than doing the opposite - waiting in the wings, going with the flow (which feels more like swimming against the tide when it's not what you believe in), keeping quiet, following the crowd simply to feel accepted, looking for approval in all the wrong places, living behind a mask.

Where and how on earth do we start to live an authentic life?
I think being Yourself is mostly about doing what you Love. Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we really love doing, what makes our hearts sings, what makes time stand still, what brings us the most joy, what excites and inspires us. As Joseph Campbell so famously advised ''Follow your bliss".
But in order to live in the world, and be a part of society, build relationships and friendships, raise a family, earn a living, pay the bills, inevitably there are times when we are going to have to do things which we don't love so much, or don't particularly feel like doing at any given moment. So then it becomes a choice between saying No, or doing what you don't necessarily love doing, but doing it With Love. Not FOR Love, but WITH Love. Because the moment we start doing things For Love, For Approval, For Acceptance, we reinforce the belief that we are not lovable simply as we are, regardless of what we do, say, or think.

So I challenge you from today, to:
Dedicate a good portion of each day to doing Something which you Love, simply because it brings you Joy. If your life is overflowing with commmitments, sit down and prioritise your time so that you dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to yourself. Perhaps the only way you can find an extra 30 minutes is by setting your alarm half an hour earlier (believe me the energy you generate from doing what you love will more than make up for half an hour less sleep). Do whatever it takes to find ways to make time for your passions. Get rid of the unnecessary, time consuming, time wasting tasks that are not feeding your soul.

And then, for the rest of your day, do what you Have to do With Love, knowing that what you are doing fulfils a purpose that makes the life you are living more comfortable and meaningful - whether it is by earning money, building relationships, cleaning your home or preparing food for your family. Eventually you'll find that you start Loving What you Do, simply because you're doing it from your heart.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

by inches

This beautiful poem by Maya Stein was posted on Patti Digh's wonderful blog 37 days.

by inches

You want it here and now, a remedy for everything
gone wrong. A magic wand, perhaps, alighted
on your shoulders. An angel whispering
sweet nothings while you sleep so you wake benighted
with certainty that you are whole once again. You realize
your patience is diminishing, and yet what's required is the reverse.
This will not be some biblical miracle before your eyes,
a transformation of movie star proportions. No, healing is a slow nurse,
pausing bedside with drips of water, a hot cloth, a murmur of a touch.
By inches, a change sneaks into you, even if it doesn't look like much.

Maya Stein

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

life lessons from an inspiring woman

On Sunday a friend lent me a book called "If you want to Write - a book about Art, Independence and Spirit" written by Brenda Ueland and first published in 1938. Brenda was the author of two books and many articles and short stories. She lived to the wonderful age of 93 and during her life was knighted by the king of Norway, and set an international swimming record (for over 80 year olds!)
What an inspiring woman!
She said she had two rules she followed absolutely:
- to tell the truth
- not to do anything she didn't want to do

From the first page her spirit shines through and one cannot help being inspired by her words. I loved it from the first page (and immediately orded my own copy off!). Her opening statement is "Everyone is Talented, Original and Has Something Important to Say". And she spends the rest of the book convincing us with humour and forthright honesty that this is certainly true.

Here is one of my favourite quotes from the book:

"For when you come to think of it, the only way to love a person is not, as the stereotyped Christian notion is, to coddle them and bring them soup when they are sick, but by listening to them and seeing and believing in the god, in the poet, in them. For by doing this, you keep the god and the poet alive and make it flourish.''

I highly recommend you find yourself a copy of this book and READ IT! Your creative spirit will be eternally grateful!

Monday, November 23, 2009

my word for 2010

Phew, what happened to 2009?
Christmas is a mere 32 days away and 2010 is hot on its heels. Before we know it we'll be waking up on 1st January full of resolutions and good intentions for another fresh start to the new year.

So before we get swept up in the madness of December, I think it's a good time to sit down and take a look back on 2009 - what happened, what we learned, how we've changed - and to take a quiet moment to celebrate our achievements. And usually the most valuable and worthwhile achievements are the ones that are not visible to the world - they're the small and subtle shifts in our ways of thinking, the gradual deepening of our awareness and knowledge, the continuing expansion of our hearts, the taking of another step on our personal journey towards truth and light and love.

And as we reflect and celebrate our personal 2009's, it's worthwhile looking ahead to 2010 and considering how we want to move forward into the new year. What will be our inspiration and intention for the next 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months? What will keep us going on the tough days? What will keep us strong and centred when the world around us is turning upside down?

Christine Kane has some wonderful advice in her post Shout out Your Word and Create your Year starting Now. She advises us to pick a word (just one) that will guide us through the year. Rather than making a long list of resolutions, a ambitious To DO List of goals and objectives, she suggests we start at the BE level and pick an intention for the year. Here are some of my favourite examples from her blog

It's quite a challenge to pick just one, but it's important to stay focused (and there's always next year and the year after!)
Write your word in BOLD letters at the centre of your vision board for 2010 (for more on vision boards see Christine's post How to Make a Vision Board). Put it somewhere as a daily reminder so that everything you think, say and do is infused with this new quality.

I've been thinking about my word for 2010. I haven't yet decided for certain but I am pretty sure my word will be VITALITY.
It seems to sum up how I'd like each day to be - filled with (from the definition of vitality) energy, vivacity, strength, life, and joie de vivre.

I'd love to hear your word for 2010!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My 10 Personal Commandments

I recently discovered a website called The Happiness Project. It was started by Gretchen Rubin who spent a year testing all the age old wisdom, new scientific research and popular theories about Happiness and then documented her findings on her blog and in a soon-to-be-published book of the same name. Her website is a mine of useful information and includes a toolbox of instructions and guidelines on how to make your life happier.

One of the tools is the Personal Commandments which prompts you to list the most important principles that you want to guide your actions and thoughts - values that you know to be true for your own personal fulfillment.

I spent quite a while pondering this list, it changed a few times (it was hard to keep the list to 10 - it would probably be absolutely fine to list more, but the aim is to be concise). I'll probably keep refining my list, as I learn more about myself and what makes me happiest but for now it reads as follows:

1. Be 100% Kathleen. Do what you love.

2. Be here now. With all 5 senses.

3. Listen to your body. Trust what it says.

4. Eat consciously. Savour every mouthful.

5. Speak your truth.

6. When in doubt or despair, go for a walk.

7. Be the friend you'd like to have.

8. Live in harmony with the seasons.

9. Know that you already have everything you need.

10. Love Glenn, as he is.

If I wake up every morning and consider these 10 things, I can be sure that my days will be happier and my life will be more meaningful. I can honestly say that just taking the time to make this list has made me feel more at peace with who I am - it's really worth taking the time to make your list!

In future posts, I'll expand on what each one of these items means to me and why it is so important to my day to day joy. In the meantime, I encourage you to list your own Personal Commandments and start living each day according to them.

with thanks to lucky fish images for the beautiful photograph!


Monday, September 21, 2009

International Day of Peace - 21 September 2009

In 2002 the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 September as the annual date for the International Day of Peace.
Wherever you are at noon on Monday 21 September, take 1 minute to light a candle or simply sit in quiet meditation to commemorate Peace Day.
Make peace with yourself, make peace with your family and with your friends and acquaintances.
Let peace radiate outwards to everyone in your city, your country, and around the world.
Imagine the difference one peaceful minute could make!
And from now on, why not dedicate one minute to peace every day at noon?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

how writing makes things possible..

..the creative art of writing carries an idea from thought to word, from source to sensation, from vague to tangible, from doubt to belief, and thus from ludicrous to possible.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


spring is promising
some fine weather and I am
intending to bloom

This is my contribution to Confident Writing's Mission (Im)Possible Group Writing Project.

I chose haiku because I was drawn to the security of the framework it provides while allowing one to explore how much can be said in a few simple syllables. I was surprised at what came up! I wrote about spring because we're reaching the end of a long (but thankfully reasonably mild) winter here in New Zealand and spring is starting to show signs of returning. Of all the seasons, Spring seems to hold the most possibility and promise. After a winter of restful hibernation, spring is a time of new beginnings, good intentions, light and growth.

The photograph was taken on a walk around our local neighbourhood. There are already many trees covered in beautiful spring blossoms but this one caught my eye. Covered in tight buds, its branches reach towards the sunshine as it filters through the wintery cloud. I can't wait to go back in a few weeks and see it in full bloom.
Thanks to Joanna for inspiring me to explore new possibilities and for giving me the courage to share my writing!

Monday, June 29, 2009

imperfect human, perfect being

I had this idea to write something about perfection, about our human need to strive for an ideal body/relationship/home/career/life; and about how our imperfections (or rather our inability to accept them) hold us back, sometimes cripple us, often frighten us.

So anyway, I had the idea, I wrote the title and then I stopped. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know where to begin writing about how this deep seated desire to be perfect has been so much a part of who I am all my life.
So for over a week I wrote nothing.

Then this morning it suddenly dawned on me why I was struggling to write about perfection. I wanted it to be perfect! I was waiting for the perfect moment, when I would sit down and write some perfectly formed sentences which perfectly expressed how for so long I have yearned for perfection but how I hope some day (sooner rather than later) to embrace my imperfections and celebrate how uniquely flawed I am!

I've decided that today is that day.

From now on, I intend to let go of my need to be anything other than what I am right now. I intend to be grateful for all the mistakes I have made so far, because they have taught me so much. And I intend to allow myself to make a lot more mistakes, and to be 'less than perfect' because I want to move forward so much more than I want to stay stuck.
I want to sing out of tune so much more than I want to stay silent.
I want to dance stupidly so much more than I want to stand still.
And I want to write badly so much more than I want to sit staring at a blank page.
Because by doing something instead of nothing, we connect with who we are. We find our voice, our feet, our words, our courage. We find our uniqueness, our divine perfection.

I have learned that we're all flawed, we all make mistakes, we all stumble, we all get hurt. We all at various stages in our lives have been criticised, laughed at, ignored or mistreated. And we all, whether we are willing to admit it or not, have criticised, laughed at, ignored or mistreated someone else.

Like it or not, this is all part of our inherent 'human nature'. When we live our lives from our fear based ego perspectives we see only the faults in ourselves and in others, we hold onto grievances and we allow ourselves to be tied to who we have been, instead of moving towards who we are capable of becoming.

I've discovered that our search for perfection in external things will never bring us peace, because the perfection we long for lies within - inside our very being. The moment we withdraw from our fearful, critical minds and instead open up our loving hearts we become witnesses to that divine perfection - in ourselves and in others. We realise that right here, right now, we have the choice to either shrink away from or rise towards our highest potential.
And suddenly life is transformed from a constant battle to an exciting adventure, filled with miraculous discoveries and joyful encounters.
Life becomes a delightful dance, rather than a hesitant shuffle.
Life becomes a song of celebration rather than a woeful lamentation.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Peace Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy;

Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

There are Angels among Us

This is a dedication to the incredible people who gave their entire beings - their hearts, minds and souls - for the 36 hours of Sarah's captivity, to ensure that she was safely returned home on Saturday morning.

I have come to believe that for every awful thing that happens, a thousand miracles transpire. And for every terrifying crime committed, ten thousand angels swoop in to provide support, love and courage to the victims and their loved ones.

Heaven is full of them, dressed in white robes.
But they're right here on earth too, dressed in jeans and takkies, in uniforms and boots, in skirts and stilettos.
They may drive Jeeps and carry cell phones, or they may drive vans and carry guns.

They respond in emergencies with their hearts and not their heads.
They do not stop to judge or blame.
They act instead with instantaneous courage and selfless dedication.
They never lose hope.
And they never give up.

Angels teach us about pure unconditional love.

Some of them come to teach us how to receive love.
Others come to teach us how to give love (these ones are usually in heavier disguise).

An angel will always appear when we cry for help.

All we have to do is Ask,

have Faith

choose Love

and give Thanks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Fullness of Life

It's been a busy week.

The lovely long Easter weekend was consumed by social engagements (fun but tiring) and chores (like long overdue weeding and a big pile of ironing - satisfying when done!). Instead of feeling relaxed after the 4 day weekend I felt exhausted (but at least there was chocolate).

And since then, I've been trying to get the next issue of my yoga newsletter finished which I finally did yesterday afternoon - thanks to the fact that the girls were happily entertained playing with the kids from next door. Apart from the occasional demand for snacks I was able to park behind the computer and get it done!
It's also GST return time, and PAYE I've been trying to catch up on all my admin. Which I have!

And now it's the end of the week - TGIF :)

Tomorrow I turn 42. Another busy year full of busy weeks like the one just past, has gone by. The funny thing is that even though it feels like only yesterday that I turned 41, it also in some ways feels like eons ago - so much has happened, so much has changed.

For example the cottage has been tranformed! This time last year we were at the start of our renovation...walls were coming down, rooms were being rearranged, dust was flying. My eye infection had flared up. I was (to put it mildly) a bit of a mess!

Now I look around at our cozy cottage, with its lovely kitchen and bathroom, its small but spacious living area and its comfortable bedrooms. I can see (with reasonable clarity!) a comfortable home which I love living in!

Most importantly though, the changes have happened inside me - inside my mind and my heart.
Each day I am learning to let go a little more.
I am learning to love myself and my life.
I am learning that at all times I have an infinite source of Love and Power at my disposal.
And each day, I am learning how to tap into that Source.

So as I celebrate my birthday tomorrow, I will be celebrating another year of this journey which is my Life.

And I will be looking forward to another busy year.
But busy-ness tends to have such negative connotations...where we're so consumed with what we're doing that we lose track of why we're living.
So instead I think I'll look forward to another full year - a year of learning, a year of growth and discovery, a year of creative goals, conscious choices and intentional living.

Because if there is anything I have learnt in my 42 years, it's that we never stop growing and we never stop learning, each destination is simply another step as we continue our climb.
And that is what makes Life such a miraculous and joyous adventure.
(with thanks as always to Sarah for her wonderful photo!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

What am I going To Be today?

I sometimes get the feeling that my life would come to a standstill without my To Do List - it's my constant reminder of the endless and sometimes quite monotonous chores I need to do each day! With tasks as diverse as buying toothpaste, paying the phone bill and getting the cat speyed, my To Do List has become indispensable to my daily productivity.. if it's not on the list it probably won't get done!

And usually as soon as one thing gets done, another two are added. At the end of the day whatever's left undone on the list gets moved to tomorrow's list and so the days roll into weeks and months and all I seem to have to show for all this doing is an ever increasing pile of ironing and a few more (thankfully sparse) grey hairs.

But if life is made up of all this activity, a lot of which provides very little tangible evidence of all the effort involved, what makes it all worthwhile? How can I bring some meaning to my doing? If we're called Human Beings why do we spend some much time trying to be Human Doings?

So I decided this morning that along with my daily To Do list I needed to create a To Be List - something that would define who I am, something that would set the stage for my 'doing', something that would provide a little bit of meaning to my living.

So I wrote my To Be List - I listed all the qualities I value, all the characteristics I admire in others, all the ways of being that inspire me, and all the traits that I hope people might admire in me. I realised that these were all the things I hoped to be when I finally got to the bottom of my To Do list..all the things I'd become when I finally had a little bit of time...

But the amazing thing that happened when I made my To Be list was that I realised that these were not chores but choices. And I could choose them today, right now, in the midst of my everyday living.
My To Be List brought a new dimension to my To Do List.

So now I can Be Happy while I do the grocery shopping.
I can Be Grateful when I pay the phone bill.
I can Be Creative as I cook the dinner.

I can Be Calm while I get the kids ready for school.
And I can Be Conscious on my early morning run.
I don't have to wait to be all these things.
I can choose to be that person.

It really is that simple.

So what are you going to be today?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A new day

Every morning we are given the gift of a new day. Each day is a gift, a clean slate, a blank canvas. As human beings we have the ability to choose how we respond to each day.
That responsibility is 100% up to us.

This prayer by Marianne Williamson is the perfect start to a new day.

Dear God,

I give you this morning.

Please take away my despair of yesterday.

Help me to forgive the things that caused me pain and would keep me bound.

Help me to begin again.

Please bless my path and illumine my mind.

I surrender to You the day ahead.

Please bless every person and situation I will encounter.

Make me who You would have me be, That I might do as You would have me do.

Please enter my heart and remove all anger, fear and pain.

Renew my soul and free my spirit.

Thank you, God, for this day.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Welcome to my Soul Sisters blog!

I am excited about this new way of communicating and sharing thoughts about Life and Love. Of course sitting down together over a cup of coffee would be far preferable but we can pretend and remember and imagine. Besides, we know we are connected in so many ways beyond the physical realm!

My intention for this blog is that it will be a source of inspiration, guidance, support, unconditional love, friendship, creativity and fun. Because that's why sisters were made!

"Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood"
Louisa May Alcott