just a smidgen

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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Every season I fall in

love

with a new

salad

my girlfriends and I have started having

Sunday

dinners together..

well, technically, we’ve only done it once, but I think it would be

so awesome

to hang out once a month and have

amazing food, inspiring conversation

and

friendship

and so

pretty much, that’s what I’m going to do..

everyone is welcome

{ unless you’re a man }

then, no,

you can’t join us

you may however, beg for leftovers..

that is allowed

a special shout out to the lovely Sharon who sent me this recipe..

this is my newest

“it” salad for spring,

the cool thing about it is that anything can be added

to change it up seasonally

i’m thinking asparagus roasted would be

a-mazing

sorry.. only two sort of crappy photos this time,

we were too hungry to wait

of course I didn’t have garlic powder, ran out of dijon and substituted with 2 tsp Honey Mustard and felt compelled to add

a ripe beautiful avocado

and loved the

Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens..

you could toss in roasted chickpeas, yams, spiralized beets..

go crazy then send me a pic of your salad and your lovely gang of girls

 
Of course I didn't have garlic powder, ran out of dijon and substituted with 2 tsp Honey Mustard and had to add a ripe beautiful avocado. I used Earthbound Farms Organic Power Greens. You could add roasted chickpeas, yams, spiralized beets.. go crazy!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (1 1/2 packages pre-washed) brussel sprouts, stemmed and quartered
  • himalayan pink salt and organic ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Dressing
  • 1/4 cup plain (not vanilla) greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 + tsp dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • Salad
  • mixed greens
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese *optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Cut, stem and quarter the brussel sprouts and spread in a layer on the prepared pan. Season and sprinkle with olive oil. Blend together by hand so each sprout is covered in oil. Pop into the oven to roast, turning regularly, for about 25-30 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together.
  3. Spread greens on a pretty platter or salad bowl. Top with roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, almonds and scatter dried cranberries over top.

oh.. and the appetizers were bestowed upon us  by Bonnie, she picked up an assortment of fromage from

Peasant Cheese Shop in Kensington

and this lovely masterpiece was brought by Gail from Pie Junkie formerly The Pie Hole
{ located in Spruce Cliff, my old hood.. I knew I should never have moved from there }

oh..that crust!!

oh.. and the wine..

contributions of the loveliest of wines were made by various and sundry..

 Love,

Bella & Smidge

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spring

is just around the corner

i am impatiently waiting for it while temperatures outside are

plummeting to -16 this week

so i’ve decided to bring

an early

spring

into my home

nothing lifts my spirit more than

seeing a change of color and light in my little space

like these

fragrant tulips

marching across the table in a tumble of clear glass jars

even jam jars are

a pretty sweet choice

seeing how God created a daffodil so perfectly in it’s tiniest details..

reminds me of how perfectly created each one of us must be

all of my grey and blue winter pillows are stashed

for another year

fur throws have been banished

my guitar lessons

start tomorrow night

i’m so so excited about that


i love tulips

i remember fields of them on a trip through Holland


most of the pillows are from chintz, ikea and i adore the plush velvet from Pottery Barn

remember i emptied out this little corner of the room

for the wedding

well, everything is back to “normal” again

since this is my home, where i actually live..

all of my messy

creative stuff has to be out where i can

be inspired

i love the ocean, so this shelf will be filled with seashells for summer

upstairs we go to another

little creative corner

this is where i pray and meditate

and sometimes stretch

it’s filled with symbolic

treasures and loves

like this little bowl gifted by my son

i burn sage and sweetgrass in it

Saraswati is the Goddess

of

knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning

everything that makes my own heart sing..

little Ganesh is my remover of obstacles

and poets will invoke him before writing a book

writing my own book is one of my newest goals for 2017

there.. i’ve written it down

and because i love laughter..

my jolly Buddha to remind me of

contentment

i have two mala bead necklaces, each with 108 beads to “thumb” while

praying

noting 108 blessings

or

mantras

i change the quote in this picture frame often

to reflect

thoughts that are relevant for me

it’s a reminder of where i need to be in my life

at that moment in time

the little bowl of pink himalayan salt

is where i stash my mala bracelets for “recharging” every night

now all i’m missing is a beautiful cross..

if you see one somewhere.. please let me know

and a bible.. i’d love a new bible

when i meditate i light candles, sit quietly, pray and play spiritual music and sing

i know that’s not the “conventional” way meditation is done..

but it works for me

i found the perfect spot for my white Buddha that Katie and Phil gave me for my

birthday

and this is my newest

Just a Smidgen 2017 Calender

i make one every year with highlights from my blog

i love changing up

my home

i do it whenever i feel i need a “lift”, not just seasonally

bye for now,

time to bundle up and head to the gym xx

Love and Blessings,

Smidge

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On the day you were born, the most perfect human spirit came into the world. You knew only the sounds of your mother’s voice and movements, perhaps your father’s voice too. Out of the warmth and safety of your little cocoon, you were birthed into a place of wonder.

Along with wonder came “curious” experiences that the young mind couldn’t comprehend and so learning began with stories constructed and recorded in imperfect detail. We started to form our earliest selves, discovered how our cries and simple expressions created a response. These moments need not have been hugely momentous, they may have been the most trivial, fleeting and unassuming moments that were repeated with consistency.  Thus began the creation of our constructed selves, so many years of trial and error wrote a lasting script on our hearts and minds about who are on this Earth.

There are teachers who also walk this journey with us. Their way of presenting “what life is” influences our development. Some are blessed with the gift of beautiful, soulful teachers along the way, especially in those very early first days of Not Knowing. Through them we learned to develop love, trust and a feeling of security. Trust meant our needs would be met, it meant we were loved, a fundamental need for all.

This presumes that our teachers needed, of course, to be perfect at all times, but in this imperfect and human world we know that is impossible. Mistakes are made and our actions receive an echo that is dissonant. How does the young child’s mind come to terms with incongruity? At a very young age, there is little ability to process or comprehend and so experiences then become the foundation of a manufactured story we believe about ourselves. It becomes a fundamental “truth” that we accept as a developing definition of who we are in the world.

These early experiences fade in intensity over time, may often be completely forgotten, buried under a myriad of other life lessons, as other teachers enter our lives. If we are fortunate, our primary caregivers continued to grow along with us, perfecting their craft as they, too, interact with this newly developing person in their lives. The teacher then became the student as you dovetailed in the beautifully emerging, interwoven dance of relationship.

In a perfect world, we have imperfect beings that develop stories and ideas about who they are. We think that if this is how we have always “been” in the world, then it must be so. But this is an imperfect world, mistakes are made, beliefs about ourselves can be, at the very least, inaccurate. Teachers inadvertently misstep.

How do we reveal the innately beautiful and worthy person who we have lost touch with along the way? How do we recover the true self that was born all those years ago? How do we unravel the story about who we are to find the innocence and potential forgotten. 

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I walked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” 1 Corinthians 13:11

So much of who we believe we are today is very much centered on childhood experience, who we believe we are, what we believe we are capable of and whether we understand that we are worthy and deserving of an amazing life. We need to explore strategies for uncovering how we “reasoned like a child” in order to at long last glimpse a new truth about ourselves. Childhood wounds belong in childhood and do not need to be carried with us for the rest of our lives. They need not be the summation or fundamental definition of who we are simply because those experiences came first. If you’ve ever experienced a moment of shame, rejection or unworthiness, it’s likely some childhood wound has been nudged.

“What it means to live spiritually is to not participate in the struggle. It means that the events that happen in the moment belong in the moment.” The Untethered Soul

So, too, events that occurred in moments past belong there as well. They don’t define who we are as worthy or unworthy, lovable or unlovable.

All of us are worthy of love, deserving of love, simply merited by being born into this beautiful life on earth.

Every soul has a song to sing, a dance to dance, a story to write and is deserving of the chance to script their own lives as they unfold through the day to day act of living. Every person’s intrinsic gifts exist as proof of the beauty found in the Universe, they reveal the fundamental truth that every life is a creation of the loving Father. There were no mistakes in the creation of you.. only beautiful perfection. So there is no mystery–

to be perfect is simply found by allowing this truth to live at the center of your life, in your heart.

The true freedom here, is that we can now reveal new gifts, abilities or essential traits of our selves that were gifted to us at birth that have never been explored.

More on that another day..

Love and blessings,

Barbara

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“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant

“To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”

If you’ve been following along with me on my little “virtual” Camino of self-awareness post-separation, you’ll know that I’ve been searching to find inner peace through self-knowledge, expressing this through my poetry. Courage and strength, seemed like a good place to begin. It promised to be a shiny new “tool” to bring along on my journey, since it has always been something I’ve been told I was lacking. After all, I’ve been shamed for this, been called weak, a wimp, a poor verbal communicator, too soft spoken, incapable of having a “good fight”. I’ve been told time again that I needed  to “pull up my boot straps”, “stand strong on my own two feet” and to “become resilient, strong and independent”.

So it made perfect sense that this was something I needed to somehow develop. Having to learn to stand alone for the first time in years, I became a warrior, on guard for any and all who might come into my life to try to push me around or manipulate me. Everything in this newly “constructed” self came from a place of huge insecurity and fear. Most specifically, the fear of loss of control, suspicion of motives, and complete lack of trust in anyone but family and closest friends. Like the child bitten by a dog, all canines were potential threats.

While it never resonated as authentic for me, I continued, doggedly determined to develop this new asset that I was certain could have prevented or at the very least minimized some of the damage done in past relationships (the responsibility of both parties in a relationship).

I studied Boundaries fanatically, researched, graphed and made copious lists in my iPhone notepad. Search for the word “strength” there and you’ll find all sorts of “Notes to Self”.

I was searching for Courage in all the wrong places, I had an imaginary vision of what courage and inner strength must look like. It was confusing, since I was looking outwardly for changes that I could make inwardly that felt completely foreign.

And so I pulled on my boots, I climbed a mountain, grew, developed strength in some areas, but ended right back at the trailhead where I’d started. I’d learned so much.. but still nothing formidable had grown or changed within. Mystified I watched others who seemed to have so much inner backbone and determination, I was astounded at their ability to pull that off without any seemingly obvious effort.

I could see that it seemed as though it was just there, in them, innately a part of who they were.

That’s when it clicked for me. This “warrior” I was struggling to become did not resonate for me and I’m certain, now, that it never would. Struggling to develop personality traits that don’t “belong” and align with who you are might just have been the most colossal error and waste of time for me.. even greater than that, a betrayal of the self. And so I learned:

We are all born with gifts, this was just not one of mine.

That meant it was time to look for a “work around ” solution and I decided that there could be so many other ways to become strong, without the struggle, the fight or the need for quick defensive aggression to “protect” myself.

Couldn’t there be a quiet centeredness, I reasoned, a calm auric energy, that I’ve only just recently learned about, that could hold us steady from within our hearts.. deep in our hearts where the true spirit of our selves lives. Isn’t this also Courage and Strength, albeit much quieter, but equally as resolute?

Couldn’t our spirit rest in the knowledge that God, Buddha, the Universe and/or our angels are there for us, doing some of that work if we just allow them to. Placing faith in the unknown, letting go of control and certainty seems far more courageous and strong than the model I’d been trying to adopt.

Wouldn’t a truer strength be the ability to allow people to meet with us on our Camino, walk together for a while, learn from one another, then part ways with a blessing so that both of us could continue on our individual journeys of self-discovery. I’d like to think so.

The thing is, no one walks our Camino with us forever except our chosen God. People move, change direction, evolve into a person that may no longer align with us or they may die before us. We are blessed to have had their presence in our lives for any length of time, for their support, their knowledge shared. We are who we are because of the gifts given to us by everyone in our lives, whether we perceived them as “great” or “not so great” in reflection.

My idea of Strength and Courage then, has begun transforming into something more like a gentle letting life enter in and then releasing. It has become like the “catch and release” of fly fishing that I learned to love this past summer. Not everything lasts forever, nothing but my own life is in my control and certainly all is changing all of the time. I’ve decided to place all of this in God’s hands and just give keep giving it my best every day, knowing with absolute certainty…

that everything in my life is unfolding as it should.

It hasn’t been easy and I still work to find that quiet, certain spirit within, but every day I’m learning that to “Let Go and Let God” is the model of strength and courage that feels more genuine for me.

It grounds me, centers me and, oddly enough, is helping me to become more independent and resilient. Fierce? I will leave that one for someone else, it just doesn’t work for me.

Laying down my “bow and arrow”, entering peace through meditation and the love and wisdom found in my chosen God and my family and friendships has proven far more rewarding. It has helped me to settle much more quickly into my true self. It has been such a relief to let go of the “fight” going on in my head. There are far fewer worries and admonishments, they’ve been replaced instead with wonder, curiousity, embracing, letting go, acceptance, truth, peace, love and so much more. I let go and let God and, when necessary, I let go of people in my life when it’s time.

I practice speaking from the heart, embracing the imperfect in me and the imperfect in others.

This aligns with who I am at heart.

Love and Namaste..

Barbara

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