My Secret Garden

Someone recently told me that I have a secret garden inside of me. And when I heard this…I knew it to be true.

It is deep in my heart. Deep inside where my spirit lives. Deep inside where it has laid dormant for a very long time.

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I think I had forgotten it was there. Buried under the overgrown weeds and tangled branches. The debris and wreckage that comes from loss and heartache. Piled so thick so that no sunlight could reach it.

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Slowly though, I have pulled away the piles and the layers to uncover what has been asleep and buried. The garden of my heart.

And in this uncovering, a wondrous and amazing thing has happened. The garden has come back to life. In fact it’s bursting with buds and blooms. It’s big and bright and vibrant. It’s rich and earthy and warm. It’s full of hope and joy…

And most of all…love

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As a child, I was enchanted by the story ” The Secret Garden”. Today, as a grown woman, I am discovering my very own secret garden. And I don’t want to keep it a secret. I want to share it with the world.

Because in the words of Francis Hodgson Burnett, author of “The Secret Garden”

It blooms and blooms and every morning new miracles are revealed.

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So I am sharing this garden I’ve found with others. Please come visit it anytime:

http://www.facebook.com/thegardenofrecovery

What better time than spring, the season of rebirth, to discover your own secret garden.

Eternal Spring

As I write this, it is 20 degrees below zero.  Spring, according to the calendar, is just a few weeks away.  Somehow I think it might take a bit longer to arrive here in the north country.

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It has been a brutally cold winter.  Yet I know it won’t last forever.  I also know that inside of me there is hope.  Spring will come and we will welcome her with open arms.

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I like to think that spring is eternal.

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It is within us all.  At any time of the year.

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 At any point in our lives.

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Spring can be felt and experienced and shared.

Spring is rebirth, growth, unfolding, opening.

It is hope, faith, optimism, joy.

 Spring is alive, vibrant, colorful, rich.

It is earthy, sultry, sweet, delicate.

 Spring is so much more than just a season.

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It is how life can be lived…eternally

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I am a Lover

I am a lover.

I read the most beautiful and inspiring essay on Rebelle Society the other day. And I thought, what a perfect title for a post, because I am a lover too.

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I love the sky and the stars and the moon

I love the flowers and the trees and the grasses

I love the creatures big and small

I love the mountains and the fields and the ocean

I love the seasons and the clouds and the sun

I love the colors of the earth

I love to see, hear, smell, taste and touch

I love the hearts of my family and friends

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I love my feelings and my ideas and my dreams

I love the rich tapestry of experiences that have lead me to this moment.

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I love this life I live.

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I am love…

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I am a lover.

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To read the essay from Rebelle Society, click here: http://www.rebellesociety.com/2013/04/05/lovers/

Nothing But Blue Skies

It truly has been a beautiful winter so far. Lots of snow. And an abundance of sunshine.

It is the sun that chases away the winter blues. Or perhaps it’s a little bit more than that.

January, a month typically dreaded here in the north country, is showing us a different side. Or perhaps it’s me that is seeing things differently.

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The blues I felt last winter? They are gone. And this January, I find myself singing a happier sort of tune.

Because there is nothing but blue skies…

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A Year of Grace

This year, my word is grace. It is a word that can mean many things to different people. It means many different things to me…

All things I aspire to be, feel and experience.

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As I think about my life and where my journeys have taken me and where they may lead me, I believe that grace is the perfect word as I begin this new chapter.

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Defining grace isn’t easy though so I looked to others for help…

“Gracefulness has been defined to be the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.”  William Hazlitt

And then I thought about what grace means to me. Fortunately I am surrounded by grace. Nature knows what grace is.

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The smell of the earth after a thunderstorm

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The sound of waves as they kiss the shore

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The quiet hush of snow falling

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The tender flowers blooming in the spring

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The leaves gently rustling in breeze

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The feel of the warm sun upon your face

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The enchantment of discovering magical places

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The reverence for the beauty that is all around us

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Grace is integrity and honor. It is doing the next right thing. It is moving forward and not having regrets. It is the small courageous voice that keeps us going.

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It is growth and learning and the wisdom that comes from sadness and pain. It is surrendering and letting go and turning over. Grace is crying and laughing. It is small moments and small miracles. It is open hearts and open arms.

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It is blessings and gratitude. It is faith and the deep belief that it will all be ok. It is finding serenity and peace. It is hope and optimism and truth. It is the hand of a child and the kindness of a stranger. It is friendship and compassion.

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Grace is light and love

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Most of all, I think grace is the ability to be still, take gentle breaths, and fall in love with life again.

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Here’s to my year of grace.

23 Years

On Thursday, I celebrated 23 years of sobriety. My son Paul, presented me with my medallion. It was a very special and magical night filled with fellowship, friendship, and love.

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This is the gift of sobriety. And while it’s important to celebrate these milestones for our own recovery, it is equally important to share it so others can see that it works. Long term sobriety is possible. And it can be beautiful. Life can be wonderful without drinking. Life is wonderful because I’m not drinking.

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This past year, my journey took me deeper into my recovery. And what I found there is nothing short of a miracle.

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I have written and spoken of my gratitude, my growth, my spirituality and my faith. I have shared the incredible gifts that come because I am sober. Gifts that I needed. Gifts that gave me back myself. Gifts that were lessons and blessings.

And I have experienced the promises. I am no longer afraid of the darkness or of feeling what needs to be felt. I embrace it all. I feel and experience it all. I cherish it all. Because I know now, no matter what crosses my path, it will be ok. I will be ok. It doesn’t stay dark forever. Light and love always shine through.

23 years.

One day at a time.

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Serendipity

On the path of life, we sometimes experience serendipity.

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Serendipity happens. In fact it happens all the time. Finding something wonderful while not looking for it.

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I love the idea of happy accidents and pleasant surprises. And I’ve experienced it. The kind of serendipity that takes your breath away. That makes you say Wow. That makes your heart smile and your soul sing.

Serendipity is magical. No matter how big or small it may seem. It opens you up to the possibility that something much larger is at work in our lives.

Of course we have to be open ourselves to moments of serendipity. We must be receptive or it might just pass by, unnoticed.

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The more open I am, the more I notice serendipity. The more I feel connections with the world around me and what it’s trying to tell me, the more serendipity I experience.

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The unexpected gifts in life…

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Beautiful, wondrous, serendipitous.