just a smidgen

I’m tired tonight. Tired of the nameless face of Fear that has accompanied me almost all of my life. From very early days as a small child at school and on, fear and shame has been an unrelenting and unwanted companion. As I sit here in the quiet of my room tonight, I realize that, while uninvited, it has created a constant and chaotic filter that has mercilessly skewed most of my experiences. And so.. I am tired.

I am exhausted, tired of wondering if I am good enough, am I a good enough friend, a good enough mother, a good daughter, a good girl. I have always wanted to be a “good girl”. Have I done a good job, am I worthy of my relationships? Have I been kind enough, loving enough?

I believe we all know the repercussions of not feeling good enough: feelings of failure, stress, disappointment and sometimes anger result. And so, in an even more tortured endless loop that I’ve managed to create in my mind, I’ve begun to fear failure itself, I fear stress, disappointment and the anger of others when I haven’t measured up.

To some extent, fear has been a catalyst of sorts in my life. It led to some accomplishments, I’ve raised two children who have grown into beautiful young adults, created a blog that I am proud of, I write poetry that is published, I love creating beautiful plates of food for friends and family, learned to play an instrument and have been successful in real estate. Yes,  Fear has managed to whip me into a state of frenzied perfectionism.. and yet I know, in my heart that everything beautiful in my life didn’t only originate from a place of fear.

And for tonight- I am so over it.. I’m done with fear.

I’ve been conjecturing that it’s really all about the intent.

When the drive for “perfection” is based on fear, that motivation becomes an unrelenting negative force in one’s life. When the drive is founded in competition and comparison any accomplishment comes at the cost of someone else’s loss.

-Peter Lloyd

I think the answer, like everything, is to love yourself as God loves you.

Loving yourself and your beautiful sacred gifts given from a loving God is what this life on earth is about. Seeking, finding and creating with God’s grace is all that has ever been asked of us. Actually, it’s is even simpler than that.. we’ve only been asked to love one another as we love ourselves.

And so if we love ourselves enough, can’t we begin to celebrate the great that was given to every one of us enough to desire to share it with each other?

That’s it. That’s all.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” –2 Timothy 1:7

If we love ourselves and others, we have the intent to create and share with one another. If we awaken to the love of God, we see that he has created unlimited potential in each of us. The ability to raise our children, nurture friendships, write, create music, run a business.. the list is as endless as our dreams.

If we rest our faith in God, then we don’t need to know the outcome. We can rest quiet in:

Setting aside our “need to know” sets in motion room for expansion of both personal growth and creativity. It leaves so much more space for a beautiful awakening to the wonder that is God and everything unimaginable and miraculous that he has already planned. It allows us to live fearless in the present moment. He promises us so much more, why wouldn’t we place our faith in him to lift us up and to take us where we need to go?

Love,

Barbara

** grateful thanks and acknowledgement is given to Amos who has been both a spiritual teacher and the impetus for my writing tonight. Instagram @amosbracewell

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@davidchalifoux

True freedom, I think, rests in a foundation of trust, without trust we have nothing.

In my very human quest for assuredness and security in an uncertain world, I lived within what I think of as the “confines of my constructed life”, my mind struggled to create life as a constant. I thought to myself: “This is what the world looks like, therefore this is what it will be. I am this person, with these relationships with people like this and I go about most days in this predictable way.”

This was such a static, primal understanding and means of coping with change and avoidance of pain, trying to define and, thereby, control life. Relationships were almost certainly reduced to caricature, limited as they were by such a temporal definition. It followed then, that my life became a sort of “paint by number” where each day only required filling in the blank spaces of the landscape I had drawn in such meticulous detail from my very limited imagination.

My mind constructed these fixed drawings of my life in order to contain the “wild not knowing”. There was a definite selfishness and fear hidden beneath wanting to both reflect and project upon others this limited perception.

Artists who paint in the Flemish method first create a “dead layer”, this is a greyscale of the subject they are painting. It is called “dead” because it lacks colour and does, truly, look dead. After this dead layer is complete, layer upon layer of brilliant colour is laid down by the artist. Yet the underpainting of the greyscale is necessary because it creates depth in the finished masterpiece.

Reflecting further, I think that my earliest perceptions created this same dead layer, it is a child’s understanding of relationship and of life. If I could just integrate my falsely constructed assumptions about what “should be” based on “what was”, layer upon layer of nuance and resonant colour and everything beautiful could be lovingly brushed and painted over to create the masterpiece that is life on this earth.

Imagine the brilliant spectrum of beauty that can be found in a more intimate knowing of each person’s being, including ourselves. Keeping our hearts wide and available to seeing and truly recognizing others from the heart and not the mind and going beyond the superficial leaves us open to exploring the layers and depth of each person. True knowing resides only within each individual and with God, of course, but I think we move closer in allying with God when we attempt loving in more intricate detail, a deeper and more authentic connection in relationship is accessible.

Along with this new depth of connection comes fear, however, this can be an indication that we’re headed in the right direction. Knowing this fear is a natural outcome of authentic connection and risk helps us “lean in” toward fear and the unfamiliar, instead of trying to control or outrun it.

“The mind is all about self-preservation, the heart is about self-realization.”
JP Sears

Expanding my understanding of the world around me to encompass and embrace that overarching uncertainty and the overwhelming lack of assuredness in “what’s to come”, also frees me to understand that so much more is possible, so much more than I could ever comprehend or imagine is made available to all of us.

My life has become the canvas for God’s inspiration, I am the loving creation, the painting of God’s unlimited imagination and inspiration.

It gives my heart and spirit a feeling of expansion, that there is a limitless beauty in letting go and in simply watching the unfolding of God’s promise. All is revealed to us as it is being created, painted if you will, in “real time.”

I can trust in this.

“So many believe that it is love that grows, but it is the knowing that grows and love simply expands to contain it.”

-William Paul Young

Love and blessings,

Barbara xx

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my son and i head out for brunch

on Saturdays and we’ve seen versions of this dish in most diners

Impact Magazine asked me to whip up a healthy brunch for their

2017 Running Issue

and this creating my own spin on this recipe came to mind straight away


it’s super easy to make

and the tomato sauce can be prepared in a large batch the evening before

making it the perfect brunch dish to serve your buddies


this version is vegetarian

but it’s super easy to add some sauted organic sausage slices to the mix

you could also try chunks of buffalo mozarella if you want to get your cheese on

the quality of ingredients is everything with simple recipes like this, try to buy organic, market fresh ingredients..

yum

serve with High Test Bulletproof Coffee, Morning Glory Muffins

{ recipe in a post to follow }

and a lot of laughs

Moroccan Shakshuka
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 28 oz tin fire-roasted tomatoes (Blush Lane Organic store)
  • handful baby spinach
  • 3-4 sprigs thymes and extra to garnish
  • 1 preserved lemon (Cookbook Co store), rinsed thoroughly to remove salt, scraped clean and peel thinly sliced
  • pink himalayan salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Add a generous scoopof coconut oil or olive oil to a large frying pan.
  2. Set over medium heat and once it begins to smoke, add onion, peppers. Stir to soften and slightly brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the diced tomatoes and cook until they soften and begin to break down.
  4. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, handful of spiach and the thyme. Cook until the spinach brightens and begins to soften.
  5. Stir in the preserved lemon, adjust seasoning and simmer to somewhat reduce and thicken.
  6. Using the back of a spoon, separate the reduced sauce and crack an egg into the opening.
  7. Repeat for the number of eggs you wish to make.
  8. Cover the frying pan with a lid and simmer until the eggs are cooked the way you like them.
  9. Scoop into bowls, add extra sauce, garnish with thyme and season with salt and pepper to serve.
  10. The sauce could also be divided into individual, smaller frying pans (Williams Sonoma) and 2 or 3 eggs added to each of those. Serve each small pan on a warmed plate.

 love,

bella & smidge

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copyright @designhorf photography

This past Friday I arrived on time for my appointment with my life coach. -16F temperatures wrenched at my coat as I stood shivering outside her office building, wondering if she’d forgotten, texting with numb fingers to be let in.

I contemplated my choices, retreat back to my car until I heard from her or stand in faith that she would be there any minute. But today, on impulse, I decided to just try the door. I pulled on the handle and to my amazement, it swung wide and let me into the welcome warmth of the building.

Life has always had a way of teaching me through metaphor, God instructs through words but also through signs and symbols that one can come across daily.. if we remember to watch for them.

I was amazed that this door would open so easily for me, just because I had decided to try. This is a door that is securely locked and has never been open in the past. I thought about the time I had wasted standing frozen outside assuming that the door would be locked.

It made me wonder how many doors in my life have I stood behind, lost, shivering, waiting and praying for the door to be opened by someone else so that I could enter. How many doors have I stood behind feeling not worthy enough to deserve everything waiting behind that door?

Most remarkably has been the door that has called me back into God’s presence this past month. How long have I stood in shame, longing for a loving connection that has always seemed to elude yet has been open and available for me had I just easily pulled the door open and walked through.

Decisions throughout my life that have aligned with my gifts and my intended spiritual journey have always been met with doors that opened readily. I know that the times in my life where doors have been locked sometimes meant I was headed in a direction I should not be going. There have been many times when I’ve pulled on the wrong doors, tried unlocking them with every key I could get my hands on and even banged, crying on those same doors to be let in.

Somewhere inside me was also this anxious person who had decided that so many doors were locked and unavailable to me that it wasn’t worth the attempt. I made the incorrect and unloving assumption that there were some doors that would never be achievable for me.

I wonder now, what doors in my life have I never tried to walk through and, subsequently, what opportunities have I missed because of some fear of failure, unworthiness or lack of self-compassion? Which doors have I allowed others to open for me that I could have opened myself? Yet when have I also stood aside and allowed a loving hand to reach around me to hold the door open for me?

But I know better, now, when I trust and have faith in the Universe and God, it seems the doors swing wide for me if I am following a  path that resonates with my true purpose on this earth. Today I am opening so many doors that connect me with my creative, authentic self. My childlike wonder is no longer a “side-bar” but a fulfilling life that I have entered into and embraced. Each day I strive to be fully present and self-aware in creating and living God’s promise.

Family and friends, even strangers have come into my life through their own doors, entering with their beautiful, intrinsic gifts that they share with me in celebration of our lives as we journey together on this earth.

I think the future should be limited only by the belief that anything is possible, everything could be available to all of us, if we just try pulling on that door.

How could I have thought that life had to be so hard and believed that doors couldn’t just be unlocked, open and waiting for us to enter?

Yes, so many doors are already open, have always been open..

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. for everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

love and blessings,

barbara

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nocturne

in the soft quiet that lingers,
echoing timbered notes play on,
your sweet voice, a sympathetic
resonance of open heart’s strings

i will sing of your love, always
and of countless blessings found
in your beautiful reply, tender
in sacred cadenced lullaby

Barbara Barry, March 8, 2017

So.. when a string is played on the cello, (and guitar, as I’ve just learned) often an open string will vibrate in an harmonic echo.. something like two hearts replying in harmony to each other. This song is dedicated to mother’s whose hearts are filled with harmonic echoes for their children and reflected in each lullaby sung.

blessings & love,

barbara

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