We are always moving forward whether we think we are or not, whether we want to move or not….maybe just saying we are always moving is better than qualifying it with the word forward. I find I can be so harsh and critical of myself…telling myself that I’m not where i’m supposed to be..i should be doing better..I should be at this point in my life, etc. I can make myself crazy and depressed by this mental barrage of negativity. I have come a long way…I am proud of the healing work I have done and the habitual negative patterns I have changed.

The past year has been amazing…the lowest of lows but new found joy when I adopted my first dog.  I have struggled with depression, anxiety for as long as I can remember…as an adult I was given the label PTSD.  I’m ok with it now…but I know I’m not a label…I am not what has happened to me.

Fear has take a lot of life from me…paralyzing at times. Other times i am amazed at my bravery. At 18 traveling through Europe alone, after college traveling in Nepal & India for 3 months on my own and a couple years ago traveling cross country and back on my own.  Those trips didn’t seem to take as much courage as facing the wounds of my past.  I am at a point in my life now where I want more than anything to go back to school for a Master’s degree. I have been wanting to do this for more than 10 years.The negative thought patterns of my past continue to trip me up, tell me I’m not enough, not good enough, not smart enough….it can be quite a downward spiral leading me to a place of powerlessness. Amazing how my thoughts can take my power away…i guess the up side is that my thoughts can also reclaim my power.

So I’m putting a question out to my fellow bloggers. How do you overcome your self doubt and fear to pursue your dreams, your deepest desires? I am wondering what works for other people…and if anyone would like to share their wisdom, successes, failures, motivations, inspirations…I would love to hear from any and all of you out there.

Jen D.


safe in ourselves

Kiss The Earth


Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.

Thich Nhat Hanh

The Peace of Wild Things By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

….inked for the 1rst time

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days….physically exhausted but emotionally feeling strong. I received my first tattoo this past Wednesday. I have been waiting for about 15 years or so to get one. The initial design that I had wanted changed….and I went thru a few years of knowing I still wanted one but didn’t know what I would want on my body for the rest of my life.  About a year and a half ago I was listening to a podcast by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes “The Dangerous Old Woman” (awesome podcast by the way) and she talked about a tree signifying the different stages of a woman’s life. I was really struck by this idea…so then my next search was to find the tree signifying what I felt and needed. At first I tried to force the search of this tree, but then after some time I let it go and accepted that I would find this tree image when the time was right.   Portland, Me has a first Friday art walk the first friday in every’s awesome…galleries open their doors to all, people set up tables or put down blankets to sell their crafts….anyway I was at one of these art walks last year when I saw a tshirt designed by a young woman and I knew right when I saw it that it was my tree. I call it the tree of life in the feminine form, others have called it the goddess tree..either way it’s the same.

So after I found the inspiration for my tattoo I found the place and artist. Sanctuary tattoo in Portland, Me rocks. After I talked to Jen at Sanctuary I knew she was the one I wanted to do this.  She gets the healing, spiritual aspect of the tatto. And that’s what it is for me…It is about my healing journey, about reclaiming my life, declaring myself worthy of standing in this world, reclaiming my body from past abuse. It is so empowering.  It was an intense experience…I could feel the energy shifting as she created the design on my back.  When she finished and I looked at it for the first time I knew without a doubt it was right.  The next 2 nights I hardly slept…not because of pain…it just felt like a slight sunburn, but because so much energy was moving around within me that I was extremely restless. I feel more connected to my body than I ever have. It’s amazing…I really had no idea what this decision could mean for me.  I know I still have more healing of my past, but I feel as though this was a major step in reclaiming my body, my life…

Once it heals I will post a pic….


..running away from tigers..

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
― Pema ChödrönThe Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World

how do you choose to live?

“Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear? ”
― Pema Chödrön

photo Grace’s Gardens Publications- Grand Canyon