Calm Amid the Chaos

In Fire and Rain I was on a mission to find the perfect bench for the firepit area. The bench purchase was a little outside my comfort zone, but I wanted to enhance the sanctuary vibe encompassed by the yard. Well…Tada!

Once the bench was in place, I wanted a little table, or outdoor pouf to sit between the chair and bench. This is the worst time of year to find outdoor furniture, but I drove to all my favorite stores to see my options. Instead of furniture I saw stacks of unopened boxes of Christmas trees. 😮

The table in the photo was at Target, in the Magnolia section with no price tag. (There’s 3 things right there that scare my wallet.) I found an employee to scan it for me, and when she told me the price, I laughed out loud, and exited the store. The next morning the table was still on my mind, but I continued to Google ‘outdoor side table’. I saw one at Urban Outfitters that looked similar, but with shipping it would cost more than the one at Target, so I followed my heart back to Target and gave the table a home.

This entire process brought up the thought of ‘what a year can do’. There’s a noticeable difference in what the yard looks like now compared to last year, but it took an entire year to get it here. We want immediate change, but lasting change occurs gradually over time. I wouldn’t have made these furniture choices a year ago, but I’ve been pondering the possibilities for months. It’s a foundational start, but more time will pass before it’s complete.


I don’t invite people to my home very often, but this year I want them to feel invited in. This space was created to connect and soak up some calm amid the chaos.


Here’s all of the posts about creating spaces:

Wide Open Spaces, Fire and Rain, In My Corner, and Spaces to Grow.


Do Great Things

The commitment I made to my writing is to complete two writing practices a day, whether I want to or not. Most days it flows through the fingers, but today it didn’t. One practice is equal to 30 minutes which is comparatively a Pomodoro. If you’re not familiar with the Pomodoro technique, you can learn more about it here.

If you’re familiar with this plug-in already, my hope is you’re sharing it with everyone you know who sits in front of a computer the majority of the day. It wasn’t always a happy moment to pull up my browser window for work, but now I look forward to it. I see a breathtaking photo, and receive a poke of encouragement from my browser.

Google Chrome Momentum Plug-in

I posted this on our Fearless Slack channel as a mighty revelation! A man chimed in on the post saying he uses this on all his browsers. I wish he had shared this with us. Sometimes we assume everyone knows what we know, and we’re hesitant to share. I’ve received countless comments from the simplest of shares.

After the motivational phrase it says, ‘Good morning, afternoon or evening Barbara’, dependent upon the time of day it is. It asks what you want to focus on today, and if there’s a project that needs completion, I type that in as a reminder, but most days it’s on a more personal level like writing! A tiny box is over to the left, so at the end of the day I get to check it off and watch it receive a strikethrough.

Pay attention to the small things and let God handle the big ones. Out of all the tasks I do each day, keeping this commitment to my writing feels like a really great thing.

Space to Grow

I’m reading The Artist’s Way for a second time. This year my Kindle died, but instead of replacing the device, I’m replacing digital books with real ones. Julia Cameron was first on the list for replacement, and I found a whole stack of her books at a second hand sale. 🥳

The Morning pages and I have a longtime love/hate relationship. I still can’t write all three pages every morning, but one solid page is better than none. Maybe it’s something you have to build up to, like each stroke across the page is strengthening the muscle needed to go onto page 2 and then 3. I had to smile at Julia’s description of her Morning Pages in The Artist’s Way.

“In order to retrieve your creativity, you need to find it. I ask you to do this by an apparently pointless process I call the Morning Pages,” says Julia. That’s one of the things I fancy most about these spaces I’ve shared with you this week. Only one has a valid reason, and that’s only temporary. The other two are pointless, and have no solid reason behind them, but when you have no particular reason you stand before the door of possibilities.

This morning my corner wasn’t comfortable to write the Morning Pages, so I moved to the kitchen table. The first sentence said, “I don’t have much to say today,” but before long I was filling in the last line of the page. What Julia describes as an apparently pointless process, is where the magic in this simple practice is revealed.

At this stage of my life there is not a lot of reasoning behind the majority of what takes place. It’s not so much the actual space as it is allowing time within that space to grow.

In My Corner

We’ve been talking about creating spaces. Whether it’s wide open for an upcoming project, which may mean dismantling something you love, or an outdoor space to soak up nature and be available to whomever passes by. This corner was one of the first spaces created and the inspiration came from a Team member of Fearless Warrior.

In this spot you feel at ease, and there’s very little thinking required as the space stirs up creativity itching to be released. Some mornings I walk by it several times telling myself I don’t have time to enjoy it, but I’ve learned if I don’t sit there, my day suffers from not taking the time.

Nothing fancy. It’s literally a corner of the room.

But, it’s mine.

The chair is one of my favorite pieces, and it’s comfy to sit in, but not relaxing. That’s important because I don’t want to dwell there for long. I pour a cup of coffee or tea, place it on the window ledge and then sit in the chair to reflect on possibilities of the day ahead.

It takes about 30 minutes, and it varies each day. Sometimes I need to read, or simply jot down a few ideas, and at other times it’s a full on page of journaling to empty the mind. The ottoman is used to spread out inspiration bubbling up from my artistic side.

Do you have a corner? If not, let me encourage you to create one. The quality of the day begins in my corner.

Fire and Rain

I cleaned up the firepit area and ordered curved, metal benches for seating. They were lost during shipment and never arrived. I received a refund for the benches and chalked it up to, God has a better plan, once again!

I’m still looking at benches, but in the meantime, I planted a ground cover around half of the pit. When it rains it gets muddy, so the ground cover is taking root and starting to spread. A few days ago, I noticed something while watering with the rain head. If I start at the top, the water cascades around the half circle and they water one another.

I purchased the fire pit two years ago and you can read about it here. Watering the ground cover was a reminder of the vision I have for creating this space. To sit around this fiery pit with whoever needs watering. Whether it’s a neighbor walking by I’ve never met, or a friend I’ve known for years, we can gather here to refresh.

The meme used as the feature photo in this post was published in the Fearless Mastery FB page. The people in that group are called Firestarter’s who continually light their lives on fire. I help manage the page for Zen Habits, and these souls encourage one another in a manner which mimics fanning each other’s flame.

It’s exciting to surround ourselves with the Firestarter’s of life, but every so often even the fire is required to sit with the rain.

Let Them Be

My mantra for the past couple of weeks has been, “Let life come to me.” Probably because I had a lot of life come to me in August, but obviously none of it was detrimental to my well-being because I’m still happy with life.

This week, I noticed these little imposters popping up everywhere in two of my flower beds. I didn’t plant them and actually found them hidden underneath what I had planted in May. They must have been planted before we moved here, and sorta recall seeing them last year. They’re thriving under the care of the flowers looming over them and multiplied wherever they fancied.

I saw these bunched up by the fence and tried to help them. Using a spade, I dug a few of them up and moved them over to the right of the bed in an open area, thinking they’d be happier with more space. It’s been several days now of watering them and they don’t look all that happy.

My friend Kat wrote about being tired of continual efforting. You can read her post here and I see you Kat. Let life come to me and know when to let them be.

Wide Open Spaces

I dismantled my coffee bar.

Didn’t see that coming did ya? Neither did I, and it all fell apart so gracefully. It’s was about a month ago when I began to feel a tug at my heart every time I walked by it, so I knew this was coming. It’s like God always gives me a heads up before anything big is going to happen, and I was pretty quick to follow suit this time.

I was asked to take on a project by my guys over at Zen Habits, and it was an overwhelming thought at first. They want me to assemble, pack up and mail 24 gift boxes for their Fearless Mastery program participants before the end of September. Our house is less than 1,000 square feet, but I’m a big believer in, ‘you have everything you need.’

The space was there, it was just being used as a coffee bar. I took a day and moved coffee paraphernalia piece by piece to it’s new location near the kitchen. How did I know this was divine intervention? Because it all fell together seamlessly, and it’s better than before.

Chemex Coffeemaker

We’ll find our creativity in wide open spaces.

Feel the Music

Every time I listen to this song, I hear something different, but it holds the same message.

On the dating apps there’s a series of questions some want to go through. I answer them, but find myself not asking many in return. One man even asked, “Do you have any questions for me?” I replied, “Yes. Tell me who you are today.” That helps decide if they get a date.

It’s fun talking with my daughter about dating. She just turned 22, so the guys she’s talking with don’t have much of a past. They have so much life ahead of them to learn from. Some of the men around my age, or older are beat up by their past, and hesitant to try again.

I’m thinking about dating men younger than me, but not as young as my daughter. 🙂 By the age of 45 they’ve lived life, and have at least one divorce under their belt, but still have life in them. They haven’t let their past define them, instead they seem to know…

All the boats I’ve missed
All the hell I’ve caused
All the lips I’ve kissed
All the love I’ve lost
I got kicked around
I’ve been black and blue
On my way to you

If the video doesn’t show up, click here to view.

Missing the Wave

Scrupulous. Intentional. Breathing in moments.

That’s how I envisioned last week would be. Daily life landed me far from the mark, and I missed some moments. One moment in particular hurt my heart a little bit, but sometimes that’s what it takes to snag my attention.

I was working in the yard moving plants as my daughter walked out of the house toward her Jeep. I walk up alongside her, give her a hug, and as she backs out, I stroll over to the pathway of stepping stones in the middle of the yard and wait for her to drive by. Except that day, I had a shovel in my hand and was moving one more plant.

This is something new we began doing this year, and it’s become ritual.

Normally, I stand on the path, wait for her to drive by and give her this wave filled with exuberance, like Miss America after drinking way too much coffee. She waves too, but that day when she drove by, I was in the side yard, so I missed the wave. It’s difficult to know how important something is until it’s missed.

A few days later she was leaving the house and we stepped through our leaving ritual. I suggested when she reached the end of the driveway to turn in the opposite direction and drive by the house one lot over that had been beautifully repainted. She sat there a moment and said, “But if I go that way, I’ll miss the wave.”

I smiled and on que began walking toward the middle of the yard to the path. This time, there was no missing the wave.


There once was a guy who named his dog, ‘Stay.’ When he called him to come the poor dog heard, “Come here, Stay.”

To Be Found

In November 2020, I wrote down 3 things to keep in mind for 2021. One has come to pass, and I’m working on the second one, but that third one is a daily ‘wait and see’.

I’m not the easiest person to love. I douse my front porch with glitter, and was recently granted permission to do the same to my neighbors driveway, so Barb is glittering up the neighborhood. I noticed the other day, I was showering with soap in the shape and smell of birthday cake.

You may think I’m kidding, but nope.

Buff City Soap-Life of the Party

What was the third thing I wrote down? To fall in love.

Dating apps have become entertainment for me, and I poke fun at myself on FaceBook. Last week, a girlfriend of mine was cheering me on for still being in the dating arena. We chatted and she shared that she stopped looking about a year ago. I cannot leave the dating arena yet because I made this tiny little deal with God. For me to fall in love, I had to be willing to put myself out there to be found.

God realizes I live a fairytale lifestyle, but this is one time He told me ‘no’. I fully expected a man to walk up to my front door holding my favorite cup of coffee, but that hasn’t happened. I know in my heart there is a man for me, but the odds are he’s not going to knock on the door. However, I do catch myself checking out every delivery man just in case God changes His mind. That doesn’t happen either.

That was the first step, and it was a scary one, but I’m determined to be fearless in putting myself out there to be found.