inspirational quotes + poems

The courage to be who you are: The art of being alive.


“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive and go do it.
Because what the world needs is
people who have come alive.”
~ Howard Thurman

Who am I? 

It’s a question we ask ourselves repeatedly throughout our life, while plodding along and good is just not, good enough anymore.

Doing what we’re good at, enables us to lay claim to inherent abilities that don’t necessarily guarantee sustained happiness or long term contentment.

Our actions can be driven by patterns we’re conditioned to. A “go to” place that evokes safety and comfort; behavior we’ve repeated habitually in many lifetimes.  

Creating financial security and the manner in which we do so, is a mechanism of survival.  Survival is a necessity – as humans we are survivalists. If we were mindfully able to actualize the way in which we receive and perceive what our true passion is by realizing our destiny as it was meant to be what would that look like? 

The answer, success on all levels. The Physical, Spiritual, Emotional and Mental.

To favor a relentless unapologetic commitment to joy and happiness aka: (our soul’s purpose), is the mechanism in which we allow faith to supersede  allowing us to receive exactly what this life holds for us - changing our trajectory and mindset from the unknown and undeserving to worthy, forever

Be clear: Habitual changes and shift of mindset do not happen overnight. The key is uncompromising belief and faith in regard to how you wish to live your life. There comes a time when it best serves us to step away from ourselves by learning to trust instinct and let faith be the driver that transports us to our soul level:  24/7: This is your life.

So what can you do? Start here.

Change that sticks is slow, deliberate and incremental. Learn to settle into its timing, be present + go with the flow. Take at least one actionable step every day.  After one week, one month or one year, you will see measureable outcome toward what it is you desire; be it career, relationships or wellness.

Create your own personal declaration: say it, think it, live it, every day. 

Step off the grid of unhealthy behavior: Break ties with habits that no longer serve you – this includes taking a personal inventory of people in your life and how they impact you.

Live a life void of ego. If you live, work, think, are in a place or space where ego and control resides, the result will be spiritual suffocation. 

Self imposed procrastination can be your friend - call it an intuitive “time out”.  If that voice inside tells you to step back, listen.  Know the universe will support this.

Embrace your abundance of affluence, grace and grit. Be a courageous, bold pioneer; open up space not only for yourself, but for others. 

Be who you are; not the peripheral or what you think your societal role is. Break ties with the external by connecting inward to your heart; where your truth is sheltered.

Be a warrior, be transparent and know what it’s like to feel raw and alive.  

Choose a life that you’ll cherish, live in a way that allows you to shine. 

21 days of stand-alone bliss: A chronic happiness immersion.


Your happiness project: Q + A moment.

* Do you know what it feels like to be in union with yourself, to experience the feeling of innate joy and to be enveloped in wholeness? 

* To move through the world in joyful solidarity: Would it be enough?

 Does your joy rely on attachment to people, objects and outcomes - situations outside of yourself; could you be stand-alone happy or would it turn life upside down?

Spiritual untethering is to sync joy + happiness and know true, authentic solo bliss – a simple oneness with self.

* Complete this sentence (this list can be as long as you see fit): The perfect day, activity or moment for me, doing exactly what I love to do is __________. 

Stand-alone happiness = life symmetry; a matrix of bliss.

Be bold. For the next 21 days live resonantly + blissfully solo.  Immerse yourself in your daily happiness.   

Be clear. This is for you. "Follow your bliss." ~ Joseph Cambell

Dream big. Take action. "Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth." ~ Rumi

21 days: Do one thing that makes you over-the-moon-completely happy... everyday

: Take a walk, a nap, write a book, study, journal, hobby, dine, dance, do nothing, explore, travel, breath, love… color outside the lines of your everyday life.

Honor your core self; inspire others to live in kind – Start your own happiness project!

Go to Facebook + Twitter and leave your comments – What are you doing to be stand-alone happy?

Re-birth + Renewal: The courage to get it right


“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” ~ C.S. Lewis

Regret is a waste of time. Yet, for me personally, if allowed one “do-over” it would be some of the parental choices I made specifically - mothering my son through the lens of my upbringing. The “giving” based on what I did or didn’t get, was clearly a one size fits all approach to parenting. My epiphany was sent special delivery last weekend while my son Shane was visiting home from college. Through 19 ½ years of being “Shane’s mom”, I’ve learned more about myself than any other life experience. 

By modeling through action what I want for my son - I’ve learned to want more for myself, to be more of myself.  

Each day gives us opportunity for renewal; to allow room in our lives to get it right, to start fresh.  

They say in life there are no do-over’s - that this is our final act. Last weekend I took my chance to get it right and grabbed it with both hands. It was my moment to speak with love and care, to take a top-down approach by way of his mind and heart. I said the things I’ve never said, in a way I know they’d be lovingly received; while gently and metaphorically cutting cords. 

To willingly and authentically shed layer upon layer, by moving forward and emerging as a whole woman in a way that honors who I am; I’m allowing him to be the man he’s meant to become.

apathy , the upside of intention + author Star Roberts


“Intention is what creates {our} reality” ~ Deepak Chopra

What do you want, what do you wantwhat-do-you-want?

For yourself, for family, our nation and this pending November election?

There’s a downside to apathy: lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern aka: “sorry… not my problem” (or) “I’m just too busy”.

Apathy is ignorance void of intention when it impacts us on a humanistic level. 

I’m actually in favor of healthy detachment but at a point - there’s no space for apathy. It’s delusional to think that someone else can carry our slack on issues that affect us as “a collective”.  

Strike apathy from your repertoire. 

If reality is a state of being, intention gives us the fuel to move forward; cause to assert ourselves, the aptitude for survival and capacity to thrive.  

This November be of service; make “the vote” your intention.  Vote for someone, some cause, some-thing more relevant than yourself that best serves us all - collectively.   

Make a difference: Vote. 

Soak in a timely piece written with intention by memoir writer + sister / friend Star Roberts.  Star co-authored - We came back to say: an Anthology of Memoir


Read this story of hope … 


                                                 Bobby & Barack by Star Roberts

The only letter I‘ve ever written to a well known person was in June of 1968 to Ethel Kennedy. It was right after her husband Bobby was shot in the kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I was 13 years old and grieving the future of our country. 

A week earlier, my mom, sisters and cousin Pam and I all piled into our Ford Wagon Master in Tacoma, Washington. We were headed seven hours down I-5 to Roseburg, Oregon to see and hear Bobby Kennedy speak on the steps of the Douglas County Courthouse to a crowd of around 1500 people. It was my first encounter with a politician up close. I don’t remember the exact words of his speech, but I so vividly remember the goose bumps it left on my arms. He was charismatic, passionate, and inspiring. He was his brother, but better.  It was the first time I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself and it felt amazing.

After the rally, we held up our campaign posters that said KENNEDY in big bold capitol letters and took each others pictures. In one picture my eyes are barely peaking over the large poster and beside me, my cousin Pam has a big smile on her face. Her bouffant hair-do is a testament to the times and the magic properties of a good teasing comb and a can of Aquanet. 

We rode back up the freeway the next day full of hope, Orange Fanta and possibilities. In the long, dark tunnel of bad news, delivered nightly via Walter Chronkite and the CBS Evening news —in the form of body counts, tear gas, and race riots—Robert F. Kennedy was our bright spot at the end of it. I became hopeful. I held my breath. And then, unbelievably, a short a week later he was gone.

I didn’t know where to go with my adolescent grief so I took pen to paper and wrote to his widow, Ethel. I had to let her know how her husband had moved me. I had to let her know how sorry I was. I had to let her know how sad I was for her and her kids, for me, and our country. I didn’t expect to get a response. When the letter showed up in my mailbox, a few weeks later with a Massachusetts postmark on creamy white stationary, I was amazed. It was a typed response to my condolence letter, thanking me, and it was hand-signed, by Ethel, and I knew in my 13 year old heart she had really signed it.  My grief found a place to go in that moment and in that place there was comfort.

Great men enter our hearts quietly on a first name basis, whether we’ve met them or not. On that night in November of 2008, when Barack came out on the Chicago stage and gave his acceptance speech, even though I was only watching on TV, I felt the goose bumps all over again, in a way I haven’t since 1968. My goose bumps and I looked over at my 15 year old daughter Riley, and I could see on her face, she knew history being made. I held my breath, sent a silent prayer upwards and chose hope again. Hope for this man who has sparked her political passion and re-ignited mine. Hope for Barack to be kept safe and to burn brightly for a long time to come...

Fast forward four years and here we are again. Same hope. Same worry. Same thought that if we dare to dream the bigger dreams, maybe, just maybe, it will all be worth it. My daughter is now 18, away at college and out of our nest for the first time in her life. I won’t be sitting beside her during the upcoming election night and I know she is buried in her new life so I text her with my pesky parental reminder: don’t forget to register and vote! For now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and choose hope again. It is what I know how to do.

  • Star Roberts is at work on Hellsgate: Stories from A Northwest Childhood. Her essay “Moving Away” is a PNWA Literary Contest Finalist for 2012.  When not writing, she can be found reading, nesting and mothering in the shadow of the Space Needle. She awaits good news at:

Designing rituals that celebrate life ::


“Personal fulfillment begins with loving yourself, by aligning with rituals that reflect that”.

Do you take time for restoration in a manner that brings peace and raises spiritual symmetry?

It could include a warm bath, lighting a candle, writing, reading a good book, a long walk or quiet meditation. Moments that beckon for self-reflection, allow for soulful shedding, they are an accompaniment to un-stifled growth. Through self-designed rituals, I’ve experienced epiphanic moments that changed the course of a thought or idea that no longer served me.

Restoration rhythmically raises levels of consciousness making way for embryonic inklings + sparks; the doorway to the center stage of our lives.

What rituals do you prescribe to and what have you let go of? On Facebook or Twitter, answer today’s question by leaving your comments.

::  Yesterday, I was featured on Editor Jones™ in an interview on being an entrepreneur: read here. 

soul food + friendship


Lessons learned from those we’ve loved.

I don’t think I got “it” until the age of forty. I was schooled in the belief that a great friend is someone who shoulders your weaknesses and plays to your strengths.  

The curriculum: Compliments of my Grandmother, born Catherine Veronica Arnold, affectionately known as “Grammie Caye”. Toward the end of her life I became her understudy. She possessed an inner beauty that transcended the physical; a characteristic you rarely find in youth.  Over time and within the confines of life like my dear friends, she exuded graceful wisdom; a loveliness from the inside out.

Grammie Caye not only showed me what it was to cultivate and sustain friendships but more importantly, what it takes to be considered a lifelong friend that will not be long forgotten. She taught me the importance of inner resolve and emotional aptitude; the ability of carrying yourself and others simultaneously, being both a conduit and the glue.

As a friend in my twenties, I was pretty lackadaisical.  I had this notion that I was the type of girl that preferred male friendships because to me, they felt less petty and unencumbered. Truthfully, I didn’t have the focus or depth for much more. Not to say I was a “bad” friend, I just had other priorities like finding and keeping “Mr. Right”.  I lacked the chops to balance both a love relationship and deep emotional friendships with women.

What I’ve gleaned on friendship: (In no particular order).

The quality of your friendships, are a direct reflection of you and the effort you put into them – a simple concept to grasp. Having amazing friends raises the bar, creating opportunity to be the best you can be.

Your friends are sound bites of your alter egos, so to speak.  When you’re thinking they’re slightly “off”, do a quick self-check in the mirror.    

It’s about give and take. Friendships allow for the practice of healthy co-nurturing. This can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, find what works for you.

Change is constant. Like you, friendships can reinvent themselves. Friendships that grow synchronistically will stand the test of time.

A basic warm-up suit is always a “smart” choice when well accessorized + ladies, don’t forget your lipstick :) … totally unrelated (a fashion tip from Caye). 

When life is tough-going, a good friend offers soft shoulders. They don’t try to fix things; they can diplomatically juggle the ability to listen without judging and understand the value of honesty from a loving place. 

Best friends are intuitive: they “show up” in both the good times and the sucky times. They have the inherent skill-set to know exactly what you need.

A good friend is totally vested; they’re happy for your good fortune and accomplishments.

Friends are your board of trustees, they will keep your interests safe and to heart.

Our friends are our nourishment. Super-powered life sustaining soul food, the loves of our lives. 

Begin Where You Are ::


A dedication to sheltering a lifetime of intention.

This life is yours, to begin where you are

abbreviated moments



encapsulated sparks, a glimmer

unconscious dreams 

awaiting birth

an inward assent 

undoing, unfolding   

the masculine, the feminine 

a dance of equanimity 

the ebb and flow

a mindful harvest, a sanctified feast

effort, ease, presence 

a soulful reprieve

reverberates with clarity

to begin where you are.     

truth seeking, life balance + having it all ::


Last week, the newswires were all abuzz with C.E.O. of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer’s pending pregnancy.  It dawned on me, if we were talking about an expectant father such as Bill Gates…well, we just wouldn’t be. Not in the same context. We wouldn’t be questioning his ability to balance career and familial obligation. We wouldn’t dissect whether parenthood would be a distraction from his very important corporate role in the world. He wouldn’t be chastised for placing his career potentially above family and questioned in regard to how well he’d juggle his responsibilities. One thing that I’m sure of - that in spite of all the staff, “help”, money, systems in place, etc., career + family is indeed a balancing act for anybody, yet also rewarding. Why must we choose between the things we love? 

For the longest time, I believed that having it all was possible, that life was a quest for balance. What I learned in reality was there is no such thing as a balanced life, particularly from a place of want. For those of us who desire more, life is full of concessions.

I was convinced that I did what I did for my family, out of fiscal need, financial sustenance + let’s face the straight up truth: as a member of the 99% club, let’s not forget the strength of a two income family. Like most, we do not own our home, (our mortgage company does), and at this very moment retirement is something we’ve planned for, but is a ways out.

disclosure + personal truth: The career path I followed was out of choice - for the accolades, the attention, the ego, feelings of grandeur and self worth. All the same logic a man would use to process his justification. While that may be acceptable (when well managed), it admittedly gave me a sense of completion in a way that family didn’t. I felt as though I was contributing to life’s bigger picture, really, my bigger picture. 

I had this notion that having the kick ass career, the partner / husband / wife, aka (family) would be the end all be all. The façade of the white picket fence, that when crossing its threshold, all problems of the day would magically melt away.

I do and still want to believe, that I was for the most part, present: that my family’s perception would not be to the contrary. What I’m quite sure about is that I'll never get that time back and that’s something I’m not particularly okay with. My son, I pray, is. 

First words, first steps, first bike ride, first mistake. All firsts.

disclaimer: I firmly believe that a woman or man, regardless of their role or responsibility, should aim for personal relevance and financial sustainability with the idea that: No matter what happens, there are options on the table at all times, with the ability to stand in your power. That’s a solid place to be.

While our “personal truths”, “beliefs”, “ideas" around family and career resonate with so many, or are even cause for contention: for those of you (men or women) who bust ass every day in or out of the home and want more for yourselves, while raising a family in some semblance…..

You go. 

Don’t ever stop.

Settling Into + Embracing What Is ::


“It is what it is”. Not one of my favorite sayings. A blanket statement people use when they’re fresh out of pearls of wisdom. “It-is-what-it-is”, well no shiznit…genius.

How many times have you heard it or thrown it out, when there’s complete loss for words? It’s a great go to when we’re unable to wrap our mind’s around an experience that’s a complete suckfest, or seemingly insurmountable.  Annoying as all hell, but a true statement.

My “it is what it is” goes like this: July 4th – “Independence” Day: I decide to take a noon (haven’t worked out in a week and I deserve it) run.  Just blocks from my house, running shoe catches an edge of precarious Seattle sidewalk; “pop” goes the knee, down for the count. E.R. diagnosis: tibial fracture, torn meniscus, 10 percent chance of surgery, but advised to opt for the “holistic” healing process… possibly 4 months down time. 

Not the worst that can happen, but still a tough pill to swallow.

If you’re like me, you’re not a spectator who sits idly by on the sidelines; the preference is to participate in humanity. Having to rely on people, responding to your needs is a pride swallowing siege. 

I’m a decider + a doer, a caretaker. That’s who I am. I can do the wife, mother and best friend thing. I’ve never taken my freedom for granted and never have felt quite at ease in personal confinement.

Loss of work, unable to attend The World Domination Event in Portland, more importantly - officiate my friend’s wedding on the Oregon Coast, most likely postponing my 50th birthday celebration in Maui… haven’t quite grasped that and let's not forget -- loss of income.  Rather than crumble, my choice is to repurpose this indefinite hiatus, as a “universal nudge” that’s forced me to move into a new methodology + state of being.

Do adverse experiences bring you closer to enlightenment? {Boy, I sure hope so}.

From where I sit: Couch surfing lends new meaning to exploratory, masonic-mission of physical, emotional and spiritual proportions. 

What's the best way to navigate challenge?

Know it will be as hard as hell, but you will get through it. Live in the moment. Replenish spiritual stamina. Do one thing that you adore, daily. Embrace your fears, but manage them. Run your show, but from a place of gratitude. Get comfortable; ask for what you require. Be gentle with yourself and others.

Simply breathe, one moment to the next. Om. Shanti. Cradle what is. 


:: contractual beliefs + the proverbial “Plan B”


It’s said that “Plan B” is the just-in-case-things-don’t-work-out-for-me plan we design for ourselves, when “Plan A”, seems out of our reach or impossible. “Plan B” is aka: “our escape hatch”.

“B” my friends, is for backup. At those times when we’re hanging on by a thread; when life is a struggle or careers are temporarily flat lining, we go for “B”. Why? "B" is our safety net.

What are Soul Contracts? They’re beliefs and agreements we’ve made with ourselves both consciously and unconsciously. Times that we’re sorting and sifting, when events in life seem “iffy” at best.  Ask yourself: What contracts or agreements have I made that are allowing me to shift focus and energy away from “Plan A”?

              Believe me, I’ve asked myself that same question.                       

Shift focus + recalibrate. Aim for what you soulfully, 100% want:        

“Plan A” = Authenticity, Aspiration, Adoration.

Metaphorically kick “Plan B” to the curb.

Aim for “Plan A”. Work where the least amount of effort will have the greatest affect. This theory is golden. It’s time well spent when we’re doing what we love + right where we should be.



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