Tag: sacred spaces

Practice the Always

Always holds big meaning to only have six letters.

I have a few things that I always do, like I’ll always drink in house cold brew, and always brush my teeth before leaving the house. If you don’t, you’ll run into someone you haven’t seen in years, and they’ll want to hug and stand around and laugh, so it’s best to have clean teeth.

I’m becoming more comfortable with empty spaces. What works for me is looking at an area full of stuff, and emptying it out completely. Wipe the surface down and only put back the meaningful. It’s funny but even after putting back what was meaningful one day, they begin to lose some of their meaning the next. I’m excited to see what our house looks like by the end of the year, or better yet, one year from now.

After framing some art and having a wall of it in my room, I removed one painting and put it in the kitchen where it belongs. That’s where it was originally, but I used it to fill an empty space. I’ve been looking at that empty space along my bedroom wall all week, and knew what I wanted to put there. It’s a page from a magazine that was in another frame, but I utilized that frame and laid this clipping aside.

When people see it, they scream, “Is that Justin Bieber?!!” He was just a kid in this photo, and you can’t see his face, but his name is underneath the quote. I have signs hanging throughout our home as reminders of what’s important, and this is of the utmost importance.

It says, “I always thank God for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this talent.” ~ Justin Bieber

I bought a frame for it and filled in the empty space. This frame looked lighter in the store, so it’s probably going to be exchanged for another one, but it works for now. The word ‘always’ is what jumps out at me from this quote. We have all been given at least one gift and should be on the lookout for ample opportunity to use it. I’m guilty of not thanking God nearly enough for the opportunities He’s given me, but I’m willing to practice.

I see this photo as soon as I wake up in the morning, so at first light, let’s practice the always.

Feed Your Soul

It’s hard for me to disappoint people and be okay with it. I felt the need to step away from one of my jobs for the weekend, but that means the weekly newsletter won’t go out. Of course I could sit here and push through to get it composed and scheduled, but my thought all week has been, “What condition is your soul in, Barb?”

Over the years I’ve often remembered a song by TobyMac where he sings, “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.” I’ve always wanted to impact people’s lives in a positive way, but what they don’t tell you as you’re pouring into other people’s lives, there’s a balance. To all my world changers out there, take time to pour into your own world.

A photo shared with my daughter last night.

Reading Simple Abundance this week has fed my soul. What she’s writing about is precisely where I am. Examining every piece that makes up my world and asking it, “Are you pretty and useful, or just pretty useful?” As there’s almost another decade in the rearview, there’s still purpose burning deep inside.

I’m going through items in my home room by room with that question in mind. I moved a large piece of art I’ve had for years from my bedroom to the kitchen and it’s like it has new life. I’ve learned that plants love light, but aren’t happy sitting on the window sill in the heat, so, why do I still have one sitting by me on the sill looking miserable?

Because I like it there. The container it’s in is a gorgeous deep jade, but there’s not enough energy for it here where I sit and type, so we’ll move it to another room until we find the balance of light and energy it needs. I moved it to the kitchen near the window, but now I have an empty space beside my desk. I’m learning to be good with spaces.

I followed the words of Simple Abundance and am listening to the soundtrack of Out of Africa, and it feeds my soul. I refuse to look at any work related apps until Monday, and am pondering how I want my coffee this a.m. Will it be a pour over, or Chemex?

When my daughter asks, “What are your plans for the weekend?”, I’ll swiftly respond…”Whatever feeds my soul.”

Grace and Space

I was texting with a friend while she was getting ready for work, and wanted to wish her a good day. The words clicked along the tiny keyboard as, “I hope your day is filled with grace and space.” Those words reminded me of my friend Dawn, who uses them as her tagline when signing off.

Today hasn’t gone as planned. My landlord scheduled his handyman for today to make some much needed repairs. I don’t know if you remember our dog Winnie, but I’ve mentioned how people make her anxious, especially if they enter her house. I placed her on a lead, walking her with me around the house, but she knows that means someone’s coming in.

I wasn’t able to get much work done sitting at the kitchen table. The handyman was walking from room to room, in and out of the front door, and his power tools made unfamiliar noises. I decided to step into my bedroom just to have some space to breathe, with Winnie in tow. She relaxed and immediately hopped up on my bed which is a treat for her.

I grabbed my laptop and sat down with her. As I’m typing there’s a lot of loud noises coming from the other room, but from where I sit, you can hear the rain coming to a halt. There’s a Cardinal eating birdseed outside the window and heat is coming through the vent to ensure we stay warm. I’m suddenly not worried about what’s not getting done and instead realizing what this day has to offer.

It seems all we really needed was to step into some grace and space.

Honoring the Light

Some people walk into our lives and never really leave. They are the chosen few who make an impact and stake a claim to a piece of our heart.

His name is Coyote. Cool name, right? He’s a cool human. I met him in Fearless where he was largely in charge. He laid the groundwork for me to start working with Zen Habits, and taught me everything I needed to know up to a point. I loved people’s expressions when I’d tell them, “I work with Coyote,” so when he told me he was leaving Zen Habits, I was devastated.

I’m still not over it.

I believe that’s the point though. Some people create a space in your heart and when they leave there’s a void. There’s no replacing Coyote, so we keep in touch. Instead of mentor and student, we get to be friends. He hosts an online meditation twice a week and I show up for at least one of them. It’s my way of honoring who he is by showing up in his life and supporting what he lays his hand and heart to.

I’d love for you to join us. He begins the guided meditation at 9:00 am central time, every Thursday and Sunday, and it lasts 20 minutes. He’s even going to host it Thanksgiving morning, and I can’t really think of a better way to express Thanksgiving than by meditating in gratitude.

Coyote [he/his] hosts a meditation Thursday and Sunday mornings at 7am Pacific, 10am Eastern, 3pm London, or 4pm CET. Join in a few minutes before this time as we start right at the hour. You can sign up via email, and/or listen to previously recorded meditations here: https://coyotejackson.com/meditations/

Join us in honoring the light.

Feel the Music

The stereo is dusty in more ways than one. I turned on some music this week for the first time since posting a Feel the Music two months ago. It was surprising to see that it’s been that long, but time seems to going by at warp speed. On Friday’s I look forward to the weekend and reclaiming some time.

Turning on the stereo, I changed the channel from country to random music to hear something lively. I was in the kitchen making brunch when I realized I could barely hear it and it needed to be a little bit louder. I did something monumental yesterday by changing the batteries in the stereo’s remote! 😂It wasn’t surprising they were dead because I couldn’t recall using the remote this year.

Stepping into the den, I picked up the remote and pressed volume up, just in time to hear this song begin to play.

I haven’t heard it in years, but my body remembered it and started dancing. In that moment the tiredness from the week was gone and I felt energized as I danced my way back into the kitchen to continue preparing my meal. Pretty soon I was singing and dancing which made me thankful to be home alone. The dogs didn’t seem to mind and continued on with their napping.

Sitting here this morning I see a need to use the remote control more often and dance. Turn the volume up and let your body feel the music.

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

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.


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.