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Dear Human:
You've got it all wrong.

You didn't come here to master unconditional love. This is where you came from and where you'll return.

You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love.
Messy love.
Sweaty Love.
Crazy love.
Broken love.
Whole love.
Infused with divinity.
Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of... messing up.
Often.

You didn't come here to be perfect, you already are.

You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.

And rising again into remembering.

But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.

Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives.
It doesn't require modifiers.
It doesn't require the condition of perfection.

It only asks you to show up.
And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as you.

Its enough.

It's plenty.

- C. Walsh .

Happy Valentine’s Day to both my boys. And majorly to my husband, @matt_aporta, who has walked alongside me through many messy, many painful, many beautiful times, and sometimes carried me too, I love you so much. You are my mirror and I learn so much from our marriage. Sometimes the easy way, sometimes not so much. Some days we are a love epic and some days worthy of a reality TV show. 😂 Our love is ours and doesn’t belong to anyone else. Couldn’t do any of this without your support and your strength and your cooking. Foreva, eva. ♥️

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This morning I was rushing around. Rushing to make my coffee. To make Baby A breakfast. To feed the dog. To answer my text messages. You know the drill. Just rushing.

We got to daycare and I went to pull him out of his car seat and I just looked in his eyes. The deepest, brownest eyes and he gave me a huge smile with his eight teeth showing.

He just learned to walk so I put him down and we walked over to a park bench outside where we just sat. I left my phone in the car and watched him take in the sky and the other kids and the plants along the sidewalk. I told him I loved him about twenty times.

Then, after several minutes of just sitting together, we walked hand in hand down the hallway for the first time, him stumbling and me so proud.

It was ordinary but it wasn’t at all. This was the best part of my day. And probably because I was finally paying attention.

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Being here in the mountains just feels easy. Fresh air and friends who are family and the best damn morning coffee I could imagine.

Lately I’m really listening to life as it tells me which direction to go. More of this, less of that. More flow, more synchronicity. When I slow down I’m able to see what my friend Rand calls “God winks.” This morning three beautiful deer, my favorite animal, walked right up to the deck as I stood outside barefoot with my cup of coffee and took them in.

I feel connected. And it’s a choice. To feel connected to myself, to my best friend over coffee, to the sweetest deer as they approached the house, to those I understand and those I don’t. I see it when I believe it. And I’m trying that belief on every single hour.

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This year already seems to be about the pause. Whether it’s an involuntary pause being laid out with sickness or court delays. Or the intentional pauses which I’m cultivating much more frequently as well. It’s so easy for me to get swept up in fear, in worry, in wild thoughts and story fondling. It seems so “real.” It seems like something that needs to be remedied or forced, right now, right away.

But I’m finding that for me the only thing that really matters, that really feels true is what is grounded in love. My teacher reminds me often to seek peace with a sense of urgency. Because what else really matters? Not the worries, not the to do list, not my or anyone else’s drama. Right now that peace is the sound of this little boy’s breathing and the sound of the rain. I will seek peace with a sense of urgency because it always, always leads me back home to myself. The real me, not the scared me, that I now truly love thirty five years in and am honored I get to be.

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For this past year I’ve reflected mostly on Baby A and this foster care rollercoaster we have been on. I talk about uncertainty and impermanence and how these have transformed from “concepts” to a sort of life credo. My life has had a sense of urgency to it. I’m not even sure that makes sense but I’ve been much more aware of how fleeting this all is.

That being said I don’t know if I’ve been taking the time to honor all the tiny and massive miracles that have occurred to get me here.

Like right here, sitting on a park bench with a cup of coffee, in the neighborhood where I live and didn’t even know existed until I moved out of Iowa. With a messy ponytail and a notebook full of ideas and heart absolutely full of all the feels.

That this life I’m living now is one I once thought impossible. It’s one I prayed for. Thank you @alchemyambi for this reminder this morning. That what I prayed for is happening. This is the possibility I’m living into this year. Every single day.

Grateful for all the missteps, dance moves and leaps that got me here.

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For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing
By John O’Donohue

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.

The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

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Best rainy day vibes in the yoga room. Life has felt beyond messy this week. Literally messy from this constant rain but also how am I sick again / why do I have so many emails / am I doing “this” right kind of messy.

I noticed my overwhelm and anxiety come in waves and then I watched it dissipate. It’ll come again. The doubt, the anxiousness, all the feels. But I remember that I have the ability to flow with it rather than fight against it.

And I’m a much better person when I spend some time sitting in this space. Once I’m no longer hacking up a lung I plan to enjoy my breath again. Thoroughly.