Simple is Good – Who Cares?

siggisWe’ve stumbled on something that is simply incredible.  It’s incredible just as much for what it’s not than for what it is. Okay first let me say from a nine year old’s perspective that it is her new favorite in her planet box because it is smooth, creamy, delicious, and has no CHUNKS. From her mother’s perspective, that’s me, it is incredible for the long list of ingredients it doesn’t include: aspartame, sucralose, gelatin, artificial colorings, preservatives, or high fructuse corn syrup. I wish I could say that I am the diligent mother monitoring everything that goes into my children’s mouth but I would be stretching the truth. With a blended family of seven, a farm, and both of us working full time jobs, we do our best to make sure each of our children and animals are covered and given as much love as possible but even with our due diligence, there are some gaps that present themselves in our parenting.

Libby happened upon siggi’s yogurt, Icelandic style skyr, on her own at Demoulas Market Basket in Dover, NH. She is probably the healthiest eater in our home and at her early age is very aware of what it means to eat close to the ground.  She’s never fallen pray to junk food or soda and since she was a baby has always preferred fruit and veggies over processed food. It was a couple weeks after her choosing siggi’s for her lunch before I tried it, another week before my husband took his first taste.  He loved it and asked me what I thought of it. I hadn’t really given it much thought but when asked I knew that it was my new favorite. This morning I noticed that the label had a proud GF stamp. I looked closer and realized how incredibly healthy it was and was motivated to visit their facebook page to learn more about the product and company and became quickly aware that this new discovery was very much more than a welcomed addition to our fridge, it was an inspiration for us to do better for ourselves and our family. It was a pledge that we were taking to chose something different than what we had become accustomed to in the late seventies and eighties.

I believe that siggi’s dairy and all that it encompasses really does care and I’m starting to wake up to the idea of what really matters most in our crazy, hectic existence we call life.

Check them out on facebook! 

  • Familiarity- A Little Lift

    jackI’ve come back to what feels the most familiar, getting up in the morning and reaching for a cup of tea and my laptop. It all began with A Little Lift, daily shares about life in general and all that could possibly encompass. It began as a way to decompress, process, and let go of everything that was out of my control.  It’s evolved into a love for words, sharing, and connecting with people and places all over the world.  Now that I’m back after a short hiatus, our farm cat, Jack, has joined me in my lifelong endeavor. He seemed to take an interest as I published, edited, and republished a piece I was working on yesterday.

    At the same time, our blended family of seven has fallen back into a sort of familiar routine as we approach our second anniversary of moving into together. We’ve begun to smooth out some wrinkles and have found a rhythm of sorts in the way we each go about our new lives together while still holding on to pieces of what used to be family before they were broken. Broken and blended, I’m sure the two terms are far from being considered politically correct but after living and breathing in each, I struggle to come up with anything different. If Kyle and I had never suffered the ill effects of divorce, then we would never have met and never would have been able to bring our two families together for a chance at a fresh start, a sense of renewed love and hope for a lasting life together, as individuals, a couple, and a family.

    Sometimes it feels like we have added pressure to live like we have everything figured out. There are lots of questions and concerns about how the kids are doing with the big changes and I always try to approach them with a pause and  a large chunk of honesty. Our blended family is far from perfect for many different reasons but if this is possible to say, it is as close to normal that I have ever experienced.  The possibility of “normal” existing in the first place is a hard concept for me to grasp but somehow under the umbrella of love that Kyle and I have been lucky enough to find and experience, the kids seem to be happy, adjusted, and growing. Feeling, receiving, and experiencing love in the way Kyle brings it forth to me and our blended family has created a home  for all of us in which it makes it safe to grow even in the most challenging of times.

    I used to believe that being familiar was being stagnant. I believed that if you weren’t constantly chasing new adventure than you were growing roots and limiting your own experiences. I have learned from writing daily and living with love through the mundane, that familiarity can be one of the most incredible sources for growth and enrichment. When you are doing what you know, being loved and supported in a place that is familiar, you are able to become still and visit places inside of yourself that you never knew existed. It’s from within that many of the best adventures in life begin, and finally feeling safe enough to sit still and observe everything that is familiar, I’m discovering what those adventures may be.

  • Write with Me – A Little Lift

    8b5dcd9f-44a4-4309-84c5-8869f5143c270When I’ve been in my darkest days, I’ve always turned to writing.  It’s the pill I took to get out of my deepest funks, to lift me out of a lack of desire to live, to a place where I opened myself up to infinite possibilities and a life worth living.  My funks, or bouts with depression began, in my teen years and became deeper and darkest throughout my twenties and seeming to taper off somewhere in my late thirties. It wasn’t until high school that I had an inkling that there was something that felt greater than myself, pulling me down, spiraling my true essence out of control. A teacher at Traip Academy pulled me aside from a two day health and well being conference into a room with a counselor and another adult for support.  Without knowing it, tears had begun to stream down my face during one of the sessions and cried out for help to anyone that might be listening.

    In my early twenties came meltdowns, triggered by God knows what. My body would tighten in defense and anger would erupt when I felt safe and hidden from the rest of the world.  Heat would engorge my entire body and it felt as though a thousand needles were pricking through every inch of my skin. Exhaustion would come to my rescue and I would crash. I feared being alone, wanting to keep it all at bay, something I seemed to be able to do when I was around people.  It only became worse when my father took his own life on Father’s Day. I was twenty two, married to my high school sweetheart, and a mother of a one year old boy.  My doctor wanted to put me on Prozac, the new miracle drug of the time, but I bit my lip and stood my ground.  I refused to be that person, I didn’t want to admit that I desperately needed help.  I had strived to do everything right in my life. I had graduated school at the top of my class, college was a breeze, I kept myself busy by volunteering and being active with any group I could find in school, but somehow when being focused on doing what I thought I should be doing, I forgot to help myself.

    It wasn’t until the end of my second failed marriage did I begin to see the light. My world that I had built up around myself was crashing down and I was the cause. I had made choices based on what I thought the world wanted from me and had refused to listen to my heart or  gut about what I needed and wanted most.  From the outside looking in, I imagine I appeared to have it all. I had a beautiful home with lush gardens, three incredible children, a business I had built from scratch, and a list of community organizations and events that I had my hand in.  Yet these were some of my darkest days and not until the first brick fell did I ever allow myself to even whisper out loud  when everyone else was asleep that I was dying inside. Fate stepped in and somewhere in the yellow pages, I found an amazing woman,a luminescent sage in Kittery Maine, who guided me through some of the most difficult decisions I would ever have to make.

    And then I began to write, everyday I sat down at my laptop and wrote.  At first I dipped my toe into the water and shared only glimpses of what I was feeling or experiencing but then as days, weeks, and months rolled by I began opening up in my writing and almost magically my life seemed to follow suit. I started a blog, A Little Lift. I turned it into a series of books, three in all – one published. I moved out with my three children and became divorced for the second time. I continued to write, diving deeper into my pain with each new post. I traveled to Mexico and Honduras and was filled with new vibrant visions and exotic smells. I wrote about letting myself heal so that I may live and grow into the person I had always dreamed of being and then I began to meet people. I kissed a lot of frogs but somehow avoided getting too many warts and even had a near miss with a prince before I met the one.  Even when I feared being judged for writing about my most intimate moments and experiences I continued to write and grow as I landed in a profession, helping children to find new ways to become calm and safe when aggressive and hurting most.

    And then one day, I woke up and life wasn’t so dark anymore. Instead of catching glimpses of light cascading down into my day, the clouds seemed to have passed and my cheeks were warmed by the constant stream of sun shining on me and my three children. I wrote about feeling the light inside and all that it made me grateful for…and I’m still writing. Life is not perfect but it’s beautiful.

    I’m married for the third time. I have a blended family with five children, a farm, and some animals.  I am happy and no longer fighting to stay afloat in the dark, murky waters I used to call home, and I am still writing.

    I’m not sure when the idea first popped into being but I know it came through my new friend and co-conspirator, Anne. It went something like this, “you should start a writing group of sorts, I’ve given your book out to three people going through divorce, you should lead a group where people who are going through divorce can come together and write to live, or something like that.”  I smiled, lowered my head, and wondered.

    Yesterday I called Anne. A name for the book I want to write about her being a medium came to me and I wanted to share it with her. She interjected that she really thought I should start A Writing to Live group at her office.   I paused and said it could be called, “Writing to Live – writing through life’s hardest transitions.”

    This morning I woke up excited to write and texted Anne and said when can we start it?



  • Messages from Beyond – The Psychic, The Healer, and Me

    annedonnellAs Anne closed her eyes and we waited for her to begin, Jack circled around the room, stopping to rub against a leg or rest on someone’s lap. He paused for a while in front of Anne and peered up at her as if he knew more than we did. Then he lay his orange tabby body down on the hooked rug stretched out in front of her and she began. She kept her eyes lowered, the room was quiet except for the soft purr coming from Jack’s throat. It was the last of three circles that were hosted at SeaStar Farm on Witchtrot Road.  Although each circle was unique in its own way, they shared commonalities. Ann began each circle with a brief sharing of how she began to receive messages from spirit and images as a psychic.

    As each circle began Anne reassured each of us that she was asking for positive information to be passed on, only that which came from a place of love.  She asked that as she began receiving messages that if the information resonated with someone that they speak up from where they were sitting and say, “I can take that.” In each of the three circles a message always seemed to begin with a spirit’s name or description of their physical presence, or something they were connected to. When I attended my first circle with Anne, it was my grandfather who wore a fishing hat and was tall and lanky. His name had an R sound. I waited to take it like most because his first name was Walter. Not until she added that he drove a truck, which he did for a living, did I allow myself to remember that my family often referred to him as “Roscoe” by his middle name. Finally I spoke up and said, “I can take it.” In each of the circles hosted at our farm, the process of delivering messages from spirit seemed to take a similar form.

    My most memorable moment from hosting Anne at our home came not during the circle but after it had ended. It was late by the time everyone had finished sharing and processing what had just occurred during the circle in our  kitchen. The house had just begun to settle when my daughter who had asked to sit in on the circle to watch approached me.  She had waited till it was just her and I and spoke softly to me as I finished the dishes in the sink. “Mum it was nothing like I imagined it would be. Anne was incredibly kind and caring. I can’t believe how deeply she touched some of the people, some of them started crying when they were connected to family they had lost.” I smiled at her. It’s hard for me sometimes to remember that my children have not lived my entire life with me, they haven’t stored each of my experiences and memories inside as they would their own. There is a part of me that they don’t know. I nodded and shared that I remembered feeling the same when I experienced connecting to spirit for the first time. She pulled on my sleeve and added, “Mum, everything that Anne said came from a place of love. I felt it.”

    I couldn’t help but smile. I’ve been aware that I am surrounded by spirit since I was a teenager. My aunt brought me to a medium when I had just begun high school somewhere in Massachusetts and introduced me to the idea that there was more to this world than most are willing to open up to.  Shortly after my sister gave me the book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior written by Dan Millman. It created an unyielding desire to learn and know more about my own spirit and how and why I seemed to connect to people in the way I do.  I have kept my own spiritual journey somewhat private knowing that it may still be considered unorthodox by most, it rarely takes place in a church or follow any rigid dogma. It has simply unfolded through people I’ve met, books I’ve read, places I’ve traveled, and experiences I have had when I find myself most open to life and all it has to offer. I’ve wanted the same for my children and have not tried to push my ideas and beliefs about God and our connectedness on them.

    I gave Anna a tight squeeze and began turning off the kitchen lights.  Anna followed me as I did and shared again what Anne had told her about Meg, our Jack Russell we had lost when we moved to the farm.  Anna and Kyle had witnessed Meg being hit by a car and it was the first loss of someone she loved that had shaken her world. It took her months to recover and I hadn’t realized exactly how long her grief stayed with her until that night. Without even knowing it, Anne had brought my daughter and I closer in an incredibly intimate moment which allowed me to see deeper into my daughter’s being than I normally would get the opportunity to. The connection Anne made between Anna and Meg allowed for some well needed healing and sharing of memories that we had let become silent after a year of grieving her loss.

    As I watched people take part in the circles whom I knew well and those that I had only known of, I realized that most had come to the circle with a specific purpose or need. Many had wanted to reconnect with a love one who had passed, others sought out the knowledge that a strife or conflict would be coming to an end, and a few seemed to come to prove that spirit couldn’t possibly deliver messages from beyond through Anne. My son seemed to be one of the people who was determined to debunk once and for all the idea that we could and we do connect with loved ones who have moved on to the after life. I sat across the room from him, feeling his energy as he witnessed the unfolding of Anne’s words and others being able to take them and receive messages about their past, present, and future. My eyes fell on him when individuals reached for the roll of toilet paper to wipe away tears as deep connections were being made and memories resurfaced.  My son sat quietly and respectfully as he waited for someone to reach out to him.  His turn came last, or nearly last. A man with a pipe came through, no one he could identify. He shook his head no, he couldn’t take the information she was giving him. She took his hand and began rattling off some familiar questions about his life. Did he just change his sheets, buy lots of peanut butter, was he having trouble with his gums, did he spend a lot of time at his computer. I giggled from my chair. Each of Anne’s questions had hit head on and were pertinent to Aaron’s life. He continued to shake her off as if she wasn’t getting anything right. I looked at Kyle and smiled, he smiled back.  Aaron had just asked us if there were clean sheets he could put on his bed, when he came home from college he had shared that he had purchased a lot of peanut butter because it was cheap and the cafeteria food was horrible, and he has incredibly soft teeth and has struggled with keeping plaque free for most of his life. He crossed his arms and shrugged his shoulders. When she finished trying to build connections between Aaron and spirit he quietly said thank you and she ended the circle for the evening.

    unnamed (3)More than twenty people came to the circles at our home during the past two months. Many of which were touched deeply by Anne’s words and the messages she received for them. Some seemed entertained and thankful for the experience but still left with a bit of doubt and uncertainty.  My connection to spirit deepened and I became ever more reassured that we are all connected in this experience we call life and everything we need to move forward on our journeys is and always has been available to us.  The dots seem to be laid out in front of us waiting to be connected. We all know the feeling that resonates when things finally begin falling into place and life just feels right, a dot has been connected and we are ready for the next leg of our journey.  Anne has become a part of my life in a series of unexpected dots being connected and for that I am incredibly blessed and grateful. I hope that by opening up our home and hosting circles with Anne that I have been a part of a few other dots being connected for friends, family, and new acquaintances. It’s been an incredible experience to take part in and I hope it’s only the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

    If you would like to know more please feel free to post a question or message me privately. I would love to connect and share experiences and wonder a bit out loud. If you would like to get in touch with Anne I’ve included her information below.

    Blue Tree Reiki & Psychic Energy Works



  • Time Machine – A Little Lift

    unnamed (3)I’ve lived enough years that I’ve begun to see my own face and the face of those I love and have loved in my children. A friend sent me a picture of my daughter today taken during the Hike Through History in South Berwick. It was a beautiful black and white showing Anna as a much more mature version.  I smiled and felt warmth as her mother and then as I held her in the palm of my hand I began to travel backwards to a time when my niece was still alive and instead of seeing Anna, I was looking at her cousin.  I tilted my head and somehow my niece’s features seemed less prominent and I was studying my own brow and the lines that lead down to my set of eyes.

    The idea of a time machine has always been a vehicle that takes our entity either forward or backward in a linear motion, delivering answers to longing thoughts and wishes that seem to tug at our souls. What if everything we’ve ever wanted to or needed to know exists in those who have come before us or even those who seem to carry the best part of us into the future, vessels for our traits and characteristics that make us family and even set us a part from the rest of the world. Our struggles, strengths, and successes seem to move forward in our children and as we watch and identify with their experiences and emotions we can only offer advice at best. It’s up to them to decide whether or not they are willing or wanting to learn from the past or to repeat it as it is often so done.

    unnamedEach of our children are splinters of ourselves, carrying forward the best and worst of what we have to offer them. They are what makes our place in this world cemented and given the chance offer new roots and shoots of their own to impact the time in which they live and grow into adults. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to bring three children to this world and with each one I see three different versions of myself.  I know them at their best and at their very worst, as their reflections mirror my own, but I also know them as the individuals they are becoming each and every day.

    As I watched my girls travel back in time through history today and act out scenes from the eighteen hundreds in South Berwick, I imagined that one day they would be looking at their children feeling as though they had stepped back in time themselves seeing their own reflections in their faces. They will somehow understand everything and everyone that had come before them making them who they are and all that they can and will become.  My mom commented after seeing one of the pictures of my daughters from today’s hike, that she looked just like her mother. She was looking at me again as a little girl, just as if she had stepped into a time machine of her own and traveled back more than thirty years. As I read her words I became that little girl. I can close my eyes now and remember the feeling of when I was nine and even thirteen. I can feel what both my daughters might be feeling now but only offer guidance and know that it is their choices to make and emotions to experience, no longer mine. It is their time to grow and to be, and my time to watch and reflect. One day it will be theirs.

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