Wednesday, July 27, 2011

the real meaning of Alpenglow

I met a man 2 summers ago. He taught me, among thousands of others in his life, what it meant to smile from deep within your heart, how to give to others when you yourself are in a desperate situation, and how to give all people no matter what their abilities the exact same opportunities. 

He taught me the meaning of the word Alpenglow.  A rare phenomenon, it sounds mystical, beautiful and majestic. And it is all those things. It's the moment just after the sun goes behind the mountains, a moment where after the darkness comes there is a sudden orange glow that bleeds down the peaks, crags and crevices. It's a moment that God only gives us for just a second. A moment many will go a lifetime without seeing. But if you do see it, it will change your life forever.

When this man set out on his mission to make sure all people got to experience the "Alpenglow" moments of the world, the blue waters of Havasu, the unique vegetation of Kilimanjaro, the gushing Colorado River, he was showing the world what was possible.

I never use names in this blog but this man's name should be known by all.

Jim Ebert was and always will be Alpenglow to me.  I have never seen what is defined as Alpenglow, but there is no doubt in my mind that I have been touched by the Alpenglow moments that Jim shared with me. He's truly the awe inspiring glow of light after the darkness comes. The reminder that no matter what the circumstance, anything is possible.

I love you Jim


Monday, July 18, 2011

Who am I?

Today I went for a walk and pondered this empty feeling I've been having. If I describe my life out loud, it sounds beautiful even to me. I look around and my life is truly beautiful. But that emptiness nags in times of silence.

We often define ourselves by what we have, what we do, what we like and where we are. But if you strip all those things away what is left?

These definitions are not definitions at all. But we make them that way.

I'm an artist. 
I'm a cook.
I'm a vegetarian. 
I love tea. 
I write letters. 
I keep a blog. 
I'm a runner. 
I live a healthy lifestyle.

I have defined myself by some of these things for a long time, but strip everything away and what's left standing in my spot?

On a walk today I pondered this because it seemed to be the leading cause to the emptiness. I  decided what is left standing with all the superficial things aside are:

My connection with God. 
My love for other people. 
My ability to appreciate nature. 
My inner smile. 
My innate desire to live a life that helps others.

Maybe these are truly parts of who I am. Maybe they are only what I think are the parts. Maybe I'll discover more along the may. Or maybe all of these are wrong. All I know is I feel less empty after finding them and I wonder how I could  have let myself be in hiding for so long? Why am I hiding behind everything in my life that is material, visible, explicable?

Walking braid by springknitter

I think there is a balance to having both, but which things are most important?

I've realized that maybe the adventure of simplifying my life isn't over yet. Maybe there is a whole second chapter out there that I'm meant to write. And it feels good to start opening that chapter.

Are you hiding behind your definitions?

BPositive and BWho you are Not What You Do!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Fruity Friday

It's a Fruity Friday and I'm making Strawberry Magnets! 

BPositive and BFruity! 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fickle Heart or Fickle Thoughts?

Sometimes I write to you all because I feel I have something to offer. Words of encouragement or wisdom. Maybe even just an experience I had that might spare you some sleepless nights. But today I'm going to write simply because I need to. Because here it is safe and here it is welcomed.

I'm feeling fickle today. My thoughts are literally everywhere, making it impossible to know what decisions to land on. Am I happy with things? Am I angry that they aren't different? One day, I am certain, and the next I have other sentiments in mind. I am excitable and hopeful one minute when suddenly I can't remember how that feeling was even possible.

I don't like to feel fickle. It feels like poison. Especially when my fickle behaviors are emotions within my heart and not just daily actions.

Sometimes it feels like every emotion is exactly the opposite of the first:
I hate money. I need money.
I see goodness in others. I mistrust their intentions.
I am determined to be supportive. I want to run far away.
I welcome uncertainty, struggle and change. I cry because all I want is stability and things to feel normal!
I embrace a life of adventure. I miss my family and friends and that feeling of home.
I trust in God and have faith in this path. I'm not sure if he's really watching over me.

So is it my heart that's fickle? Or do my thoughts get in the way? Am I still holding on too tight? Do I just need to let go?

heart by springknitter

It's interesting because on a day like today where it may seem challenging and uncertain, I actually have a lot of gratitude. I don't want to ignore these things. They are what makes me who I am. They are what help me grow. Sometimes conflict inside ourselves is exactly what we need to understand a little better of what makes us happy.

I don't have answers to my questions above right now. But I'm not afraid to ask them and I don't fear that the answers won't come. My heart will decide with patience and time. And I'm willing to endure some tears and fears if what is best for me comes out in the end. There's not sense in forcing decisions on ourselves if they are not right for us.

Thanks for being a supportive audience to even the most personal posts. BPositive. BFree has become a garden of growing thoughts, ideas and feelings. For that I am truly grateful.

BPositive and BOk with How You're Feeling No Matter What!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Patience by springknitter

I guess that seems obvious. But why then is it so hard to practice patience? I've been in such a funk this week. Obsessing over certain things I want and setting myself up for constant disappointment. So I decided to make myself a patience sign today that I can hang up as a reminder to cool it! by springknitter

In some ways it has helped because the act of focusing on one word for a while really does bring awareness to the problem, but in other ways I still feel stuck. 

Do any of you ever have issues with patience? 

What I am realizing is that patience is actually a byproduct of control. The more you want to control, the less patience you have and vice versa. And if you know me...lets just say, I like to have a say in what's going on in my life...

So I'm switching my focus. Patience will come if I can learn to let go. Further, I need to let go and have faith that everything is happening the way that it is supposed to regardless of my meddlesome ways! 

I think I know what my new blog sign will be....

BPositive and BAble to Let Go!!


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Prayers for Prisoners

There's a form of prayer where you feel the outcome. You be the outcome. You know the outcome.

Today I was asked to do a solidarity fast for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. Shane and Josh along with Shane's fiance Sarah were arrested 2 years ago at the border of Iran while they were hiking in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Some say they stumbled over the border accidentally, while others believe they were arrested by Iranian officials in Iraqi territory. Either way their imprisonment has been cruel, unnecessary and unfair. Sarah was released on a $500,000 bail after 410 days of solitary confinement. Shane and Josh have not yet been relinquished. (Visit to learn more about Shane and Josh's current situation.)

When I was asked to write this blog post, I knew it would be an intense day of fasting, praying, thinking, internalizing, and writing. I accepted this wholeheartedly and without worry. But when given a task or a deadline, there is usually some form of stress involved. Will people relate to my piece? Will I get it in on time? Is it what they were looking for?

As I pondered these questions, it became very clear to me that at that moment I was completely missing the point. With this realization, some answers came to me about how I am able to be of help on this mission to see Josh and Shane walk free.

I'm not sure what to call the form of prayer I described above. But it makes perfect sense to me. When I pray and hope and wish that rain will finally come, am I not actually focusing on the fact that the sky is currently dry? By continuing to wish with all my might that Josh and Shane are freed, am I not just holding them in captivity in my mind?

So I prayed by doing, seeing and knowing. I touched the sand and examined each grain. I put my feet in the ocean for Shane and saw him standing there next to me. I breathed in the salty air, feeling it charge my body for Josh knowing that he will breathe the same salty air again. I hugged my husband tight for Sarah and Shane in honor of the reunion they will have and the wedding they will dance at. I kept them in my heart today while doing all the things I know they will be doing soon.

I can't think of a better way to pray for Josh and Shane besides knowing with every beat of my heart that their freedom is right around the corner.

BPositive and BTruly Present in your Prayers!

Love always,